Fijian back row forward, Apo Satala, who made a big impression in his first season at Gloucester, has committed to another season at Kingsholm.
Satala has had an interesting rugby career to date. As an infantryman in the Royal Scots, he has been a regular in Army and Combined Services rugby and played a key role in the Army's recent victory in the annual fixture with the Navy at Twickenham.
He has just finished playing in the Royal Scots Sevens in Edinburgh and will be on duty for the Army Sevens side in the Rome Sevens in a couple of weeks where the Army will be defending their title before heading off to represent Fiji in the Pacific Nations Cup!
After a spell with Leeds Carnegie, Satala linked up with Gloucester in September 2008 having impressed during preseason and in a number of A League games.
At the time Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Dean Ryan said:
"We have been hugely impressed by Apo since his involvement with us. We naturally have a lot of quality across our back row and Apo will only add to that."
And the big back rower went on to more than justify his signing as he made 22 appearances in total in 2008-9, scoring two tries in the process, and quickly became a popular figure with the Kingsholm faithful thanks to his powerful ball carrying and committed defence.
The arrangement with the Army means that Apo will still be available for key Army fixtures and Ryan acknowledged his ongoing gratitude to them:
"I would like to thank the Army for their continuing co-operation in allowing this deal to happen. Apo has quickly become a key member of our squad."
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.