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."
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
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.
The Gloucester Rugby Ticket office can advise that the club's initial allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final has sold out. However, the club has secured an additional allocation of tickets from EPCR which will go on sale on Monday.
Following Saturday evening's exciting European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs, the Ticket Office at Kingsholm will be open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm for Club Members to purchase tickets for the Final.
Gloucester Rugby qualified for their first European final since 2006 as they defeated the in-form Exeter Chiefs by 30 points to 19 in a thrilling semi-final at Kingsholm on Saturday evening. The club photographer caught the best of the action.
Recent meetings between these two teams have often been thrillers, and this was no exception. It went down to the final few minutes, but Gloucester produced the goods when it mattered to qualify for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, beating Exeter 30-19.