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."
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.