WILL JAMES, the lock who has just returned to Gloucester following World Cup commitments with Wales, has agreed a new two-year contract extension.
The 6ft 6in second row forward, who burst onto the Guinness Premiership last season after signing from the Cornish Pirates, will remain at Gloucester until 2010.
James (30) made 18 appearances in all competitions in his debut season for the club last year and notched one try. He has four Wales caps to his name.
"The last few months have been an incredible journey for me in terms of my rugby development and to get this opportunity to stay at Gloucester in one of the most exciting times in the club's history is great," he said.
"To have experienced international rugby with Wales, been part of the World Cup and be involved with one of the best teams in the Guinness Premiership is fantastic - I just want to become the best player I can in this environment.
"Gloucester have assembled a wonderful group of players, head coach Dean Ryan is clear about his aims for the future and I want to play my part in that - signing this contract gives me some stability for the future."
Gloucester's head coach Ryan added: "Since joining the club, Will has made a big impression. He is a dynamic ball carrier, a very good athlete and a player who has added significantly to our squad.
"We are building what we believe is a very competitive squad that is capable of challenging for honours and Will has a big part to play in that.
"I am pleased we are able to keep announcing these signings because it emphasises what we are doing is right - and that is excellent news for the club."
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
The Gloucester Rugby Ticket office can advise that the club's initial allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final has sold out. However, the club has secured an additional allocation of tickets from EPCR which will go on sale on Monday.
Following Saturday evening's exciting European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs, the Ticket Office at Kingsholm will be open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm for Club Members to purchase tickets for the Final.
Gloucester Rugby qualified for their first European final since 2006 as they defeated the in-form Exeter Chiefs by 30 points to 19 in a thrilling semi-final at Kingsholm on Saturday evening. The club photographer caught the best of the action.
Recent meetings between these two teams have often been thrillers, and this was no exception. It went down to the final few minutes, but Gloucester produced the goods when it mattered to qualify for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, beating Exeter 30-19.