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."
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.
Speaking to GRTV after the final whistle, Tom Palmer praised the Cherry and Whites concentration and desire to hold on to a narrow 14-7 victory. The second row topped the tackle charts with 19 as he led the home team's resistance.
Supporters who are still to purchase tickets for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm) are reminded that Early Bird prices are only valid until 6:30pm on Thursday evening.
The Gloucester Wheelchair Rugby team travelled to Fenton Manor Complex, Stoke on Trent last Saturday to take part in the final round of the GBWR Super Series of the season, knowing just one win would be enough to crown them Division 3 Champions.