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."
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.