ENGLAND sevens star Jack Adams will skipper Gloucester's Middlesex Sevens squad for Saturday's season curtain raiser at Twickenham.
Adams will lead a 12-man squad that has its emphasis on youth. The rest of the squad will be made up of emerging talent and will include winger Charlie Sharples, scrum-half Charlie Simpson-Daniel - the younger brother of England star James - and wingers Dan Norton and Henry Trinder.
The new in-take into Gloucester's Academy set-up also get an opportunity to press their chances early on.
Guy Thompson, who joined the Academy from UWIC University, is an openside flanker and will get his first senior opportunity, Tristan Roberts is a stand-off who represented Cinderford last season and Andres Pretorius is a big-hitting back row forward from Hartpury College.
Completing the squad is number eight Dan Williams, who started against Canada A last Friday, scrum-half Dave Lewis and centre Jonny May from Hartpury College.
"We have seen in the past that this competition can be used as a stepping stone into senior rugby and that is why we view it as an opportunity for these young players to go an express themselves," said Gloucester's head coach Dean Ryan.
"It will be great experience for Jack Adams to have the responsibility of skippering the team and will be significant for him and will ensure these guys come back to the club with a real buzz after taking part in a serious competition.
"In recent seasons we have done well in the Middlesex Sevens and I see no reason why that cannot continue."
Gloucester squad: Guy Thompson (1), Tristan Roberts (2), Dan Williams (3), Jack Adams (capt) (4), Andres Pretorius (5), Charlie Sharples (6), Jonny May (7), Mark Foster (8), Charlie Simpson-Daniel (9), Dan Norton (10), Dave Lewis (11), Henry Trinder (12). Team manager: Rob Burgess.
Speaking to the local media this week, back row flanker Jacob Rowan said that he is excited for the challenge at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday, and added that the players know the responsibility is theirs to deliver against the league leaders.
Ben Morgan was on media duty this week, and as Gloucester prepare for Sunday's trip to Wasps, the number eight is looking forward to see Gloucester go toe-to-toe with another of the Aviva Premiership's front runners.
Tom Marshall scored his first Gloucester try in the 31-23 win over Saracens on Friday evening and was named Man of the Match. Talking to GRTV, he praised the forwards for setting the tone on the night.
Matt Scott was on media duty this week, and the Scottish international spoke about the benefit of having a full week of training with his club mates and the determination to get back to performing well against Saracens this Friday evening.
After the disappointment of last weekend's performance at Leicester, Director of Rugby David Humphreys told GRTV that he expects a big response from Gloucester in Friday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Saracens (kick off 7:45pm).
Gloucester battled bravely against Wasps on Sunday, but it was a case of taking chances at the Ricoh Arena. Gloucester didn't make the most of theirs while Wasps did, and that proved to be the difference.
Gloucester were competitive for long periods at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday afternoon, but were left to rue a host of missed scoring opportunities throughout as Wasps hit back to earn a 35-22 Aviva Premiership win.
Gloucester's Ciaran Knight made his first start at tighthead prop, Henry Walker made his first appearance as a second half replacement and Alex Seville also featured as England U20s might it three from three in the U20s Six Nations with a 46-0 win over Italy in Darlington on Friday night.