LUDOVIC MERCIER and Gloucester Rugby have agreed to part company by mutual consent.
The French fly-half, who has made more than 100 appearances in two spells with the club, will pursue other playing options in Europe with immediate effect.
Mercier first signed for Gloucester under former head coach Philippe Saint-Andre in 2001-02 before he returned to France to pursue his international ambitions.
He returned to Gloucester in 2005 and over the last two seasons built on his record to make 115 appearances in all competitions.
Dean Ryan, head coach of the current Guinness Premiership leaders, said: "We wish Ludo every success in the future. His kicking game has served Gloucester well over the last 6 years and on behalf of everyone we thank Ludo for his commitment and service to the club."
Mercier, 30, added: "Gloucester has been a really special place for me and I want to thank everyone involved with the club - particularly the supporters - for making my time here so enjoyable. It is right for my career that I move on at this time but I leave with many good memories."
Speaking after the 15-3 Aviva Premiership defeat at Northampton, Director of Rugby David Humphreys couldn't criticise his team's effort in difficult conditions, but pinpointed the errors and indiscipline that allowed Stephen Myler to kick the home team to victory.
A handful of the Gloucester Rugby Mo-Bros visited Pride Hair Salon in Gloucester on Wednesday afternoon to have the final touches applied to their Movember efforts, and the team captain Jacob Rowan spoke to GRTV ahead of the final few days of the month.
Northampton away was the first Gloucester game under David Humphreys last season, but the Director of Rugby told the local media that the Cherry and Whites are a different proposition compared to 12 months ago and are looking forward to the challenge.
Having skippered Gloucester against the Barbarians last week, Nick Wood once again wore the captain's armband on Monday evening as Gloucester United kicked off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign with a bonus point win at Leicester.
Gloucester recorded a 32-20 win over La Rochelle on Thursday evening, and second row Jeremy Thrush was thrilled to pick up the victory on his first taste of a trip to France and the hostile atmosphere.
Gloucester were forced to battle for their 33-20 victory in La Rochelle on Thursday evening, something that centre Bill Meakes said that he and the squad were well prepared for as well as thanking the travelling support for the part they played.
Gloucester got off to a winning start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend, but Head Coach Laurie Fisher is expecting a much tougher challenge when the Cherry and Whites travel to La Rochelle for Thursday night's Round Two encounter.
After missing out on Gloucester's two recent European fixtures, Jonny May is back on the left wing for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture at Northampton, while Mariano Galarza is named in the matchday squad for the first time this season.