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."
Fly-half Billy Burns was named Man of the Match after the 35-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup victory over Stade Rochelais on Thursday evening, and was full of praise for all his team mates for the win after a short turnaround.
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
Gloucester's much changed side had to overcome conceding an early try on Thursday evening, but responded in style to down Stade Rochelais by 35 points to 14 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a mouthwatering return fixture next weekend.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.