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."
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.
It's a game of small margins at the highest level, and so it proved to be at Kingsholm on Saturday afternoon as two second-half Bath tries earned a 6-15 victory from a game which Gloucester had dominated for long periods.
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.