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.
Gloucester-Hartpury Women take on West Park Leeds Ladies in the final of the Intermediate Cup Final on Saturday. Head Coach Susie Appleby took time out to preview the game and chat about the future for the team.
Number eight Ben Morgan admitted that the 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol on Friday evening hadn't been pretty at times, but that the win was based on everyone in the squad remaining united and working for each other.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
In the aftermath of the Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell was able to look forward to this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues (Kingsholm, kick off 8:05pm).