GLOUCESTER'S utility back Willie Walker has joined Guinness Premiership rivals Worcester Warriors on loan until the end of the season.
Walker will join the Sixways club following the arrival of Carlos Spencer, who joined the Kingsholm club last week on a 17-month contract.
He has made 17 appearances in all competitions this season and has scored tries against Bath in the Guinness Premiership and Wasps in the EDF Energy Cup.
Since he made his debut in 2006, Walker has made 64 appearances and has scored six tries.
"Willie is an outstanding professional and has made a significant contribution to us this season," said head coach Dean Ryan.
"He is versatile enough to be deployed in a number of positions and has been a valuable asset to the club since he joined three seasons ago.
"But the arrival of Carlos Spencer is likely to restrict his opportunities in the coming weeks and for that reason we feel it is prudent to look at this loan arrangement until the end of the season, where I am sure he will be a success at Worcester."
Speaking to the local media this week ahead of the Bath Rugby game, Head Coach Laurie Fisher stressed that the fundamental shape of Gloucester's game is in good shape but that the Cherry and Whites have to look after the ball better and make more of their scoring opportunities.
Skipper for the day Willi Heinz faced the cameras after the 13-18 home loss to Newcastle and expressed real frustration at not being able to back up last week's win at Sale, calling it a performance he and his team-mates are not proud of.
Speaking after the game, Charlie Sharples described it as 'the win that has eluded us.' The winger stressed that Gloucester had stayed positive after the first couple of weeks of the Aviva Premiership season and the 26-13 victory over Sale was a result of that focus.
Gloucester Rugby picked up their first win of the new Aviva Premiership season on Friday night, easing to a 26-13 win on the road at Sale Sharks. Director of Rugby David Humphreys was full of praise for his players on the night.
Greig Laidlaw is back to skipper Gloucester Rugby in Saturday's Aviva Premiership derby game against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm. James Hook will make his first start of the season at full-back and Billy Twelvetrees will make his 100th competitive appearance for the club.