Gloucester Rugby’s preparations for next season have taken another step forward with the news that Bill Meakes and Dan Murphy have signed extensions to their contracts to remain at Kingsholm.
The planning for next season has been underway for some time now. Seven members of the current squad have already agreed new terms while Tom Marshall and Jeremy Thrush will move from the Chiefs and Hurricanes Super Rugby sides in New Zealand.
A year ago Meakes was a non-contracted player, training with the first team as the LV= Cup approached with several players absent due to injury or international call-ups.
He made his debut as a replacement in the LV= Cup at home to Wasps before making his first Aviva Premiership appearance against the same opponent at Twickenham.
He did enough to earn an Academy contract for the current season and has been a regular in the first team squad, scoring his first senior try in the LV= Cup at Exeter in November.
Meanwhile, loose head prop Murphy is in his fourth season at Kingsholm having moved from London Irish in the summer of 2011.
The 28 year old has also been a first team regular in his time at the club, making 78 competitive appearances to date. After a great start to the season, he picked up a knee injury in late September which sidelines him until he appeared as a replacement in Monday evening's A League game at home to Sale Jets. Dan has worked very hard to get back to fitness and will play a key role in the second half of Gloucester's season.
Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's pleased to have both players on board again next season.
"It's very good news that Bill and Dan have both signed new contracts. We've been working hard in recent months to build the squad for next season, retaining existing members of the squad and bringing in new faces where required.
"They're both well respected and hard working members of the squad who can always be relied upon to do a job when called upon.
"The depth of our squad will be all important next season with players away on World Cup duty and then a very intensive domestic and European campaign following that.
"With the pair of them agreeing new deals, we move another step forward in terms of our long term preparations and continue to build the depth of the squad required to compete at the top of English rugby.”