Gloucester Rugby are delighted to announce that hooker Olivier Azam and prop Alasdair Dickinson have extended their stays at the club.
A favourite with the Kingsholm faithful, Azam returned to Gloucester in the summer of 2004 after a short one-year spell playing for French club Montferrand.
He previously spent three years at Gloucester and notched up over 120 appearances for the West Country club.
He made his Gloucester debut in 2000 and has gone on to make approaching 200 appearances in all competitions. He has also won 10 French caps.
Renowned for his aggressive, hard hitting mentality, Azam has had to compete with the likes of Australian international Jeremy Paul, England international Andy Titterrell and Scotland international Scott Lawson for the No 2 shirt yet remains a regular first team selection.
Dickinson signed for Gloucester from Edinburgh in the summer of 2007 and linked up with his new team mates after featuring for his country in the 2007 Rugby World Cup making his debut against New Zealand after being called up as a replacement for Allan Jacobsen.
He made his first start in the RBS Six Nations this year and went on to play in all five matches in the tournament, starting three.
2008-9 really saw him force his way into the Gloucester first team on a regular basis as he made 20 appearances in total.
Head Coach Bryan Redpath told the club website that he's pleased that both players have committed themselves to Gloucester Rugby.
"It's very good news. They've both been integral squad members over the past couple of seasons and will have a big part to play this season."
"They're both international calibre players with a huge amount of domestic and European experience."
"We've added a few young up and coming players to our front row resources this season so their know how will be crucial."
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.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
Looking to try a new sport? Look no further than Walking Rugby as thanks to Gloucester Rugby you can come along and try out the fast-growing sport at taster sessions across the county, starting this Wednesday.
Gloucester return to European Rugby Challenge Cup action on Thursday evening with the visit of Stade Rochelais to Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm). Early Bird ticket prices are available until 6:30pm on matchday.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.