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."
Gloucester will field a reshuffled side against the Ospreys in the LV= Cup this weekend, but Backs & Attack Coach Nick Walshe stressed that it's a great opportunity for everyone on duty on Saturday and that maintaining the recent winning run is very important.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees told GRTV after the win in Brive that the game could have been a tough one to get up for, but that his Gloucester team mates did themselves proud on the night and got a big result.
Reflecting on the 31-20 victory in Brive on Thursday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys said that clinching a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final was the overall aim and duly achieved.
Gloucester may have already clinched a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys wants his side to finish the pool stages on a winning note in Brive on Thursday evening.
Speaking after Saturday's win, James Hudson was happy to record a bonus-point win against a hugely physical Oyonnax side as Gloucester secured their passage into the European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter Finals
Billy Burns was a try scorer on his first European start for Gloucester and, speaking after the game, admitted that it was good to get the five points although there are still things to work on before the trip to Brive.
Gloucester Rugby have added to their front row strength in depth for next season with the signings of Paul Doran-Jones, Paddy McAllister and Nicky Thomas from Harlequins, Aurillac and the Ospreys respectively.