CHARLIE Simpson-Daniel - the younger brother of Gloucester's England winger James - and Freddie Burns, England's Under-18s fly-half - are the star names in the new intake at Gloucester's Academy for the 2008-09 season.
Simpson-Daniel is a scrum-half and has just finished his A Level exams at Sedbergh School. He will be one of 10 players taken into the Academy set-up on one-year contracts by manager Mark Cornwell.
"These are some of the brightest talents in the country, of that there can be no question," said Cornwell. "We are creating an environment, not only at first team level, that encourages these players to join Gloucester.
"The Academy system and the club is generating a reputation as a breeding ground for young, talented players and that is something we want to work on and improve.
"At senior level, players like Ryan Lamb, Nick Wood and Olly Morgan are testament to what we are trying to achieve and we are all hugely excited by the prospect of working with these players next season."
Burns joins Gloucester from rivals Bath and has already represented England at Under-18 level and is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the country.
Shaun Knight is an England Under-18 tight-head prop and will be joined by his Red Rose team-mate, loose-head prop Yann Thomas, who has also played for Weston-super-Mare.
Lock Danny Wright, who also has England Under-18 experience, scrum-half Jordi Pasqualin from King's School and England Under-18s Conference squad and winger Ollie Winterbottom, who also represented the Conference squad a year early.
Completing the intake is Dave Blackwell, England Under-18s hooker, Hartpury College centre Jonny May, Tristan Roberts, a stand-off, who helped Cinderford to promotion last season and has represented England Students and Counties and Guy Thompson, an openside flanker from UWIC University.
"We are fortunate to be working with such a talented group of individuals," Cornwell. "They will come into contact with the senior squad, be exposed to what is required to make it at the top level and represent the club.
"This is a great opportunity for them and something we are all looking forward to."
Meanwhile, Gloucester has confirmed they will play both Cardiff Blues and the Glasgow Warriors in pre-season.
Dean Ryan's side will face the Blues at Kingsholm on Friday, August 22 (7.30pm), and then the Warriors on Saturday, August 30 (2pm).
Both games will be included in the season ticket package and the club will make an announcement on ticket prices and availability later this month.
Speaking after Gloucester's final preseason friendly, a 29-24 defeat away at Scarlets, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reflected upon a performance that will form a crucial part of the Cherry and Whites preparations for the Aviva Premiership opener at Northampton next week.
Speaking to the media after the 45-8 preseason friendly victory over Munster, Director of Rugby David Humphreys wasn't getting too carried away, admitting that his team are making progress but that there's still a way to go.
Billy Twelvetrees spoke to Gloucester Rugby TV on Friday ahead of the pre season friendly with Munster Rugby. The club captain is excited to be back in the action at Kingsholm and experience the atmosphere again.
Gloucester Rugby Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke to the local media after the 62-19 victory over Yorkshire Carnegie, and showed his delight at the first run out and stated there was still lots to work on ahead of the new season
Mark Atkinson made his first appearance in Cherry and White in the pre season victory over Yorkshire Carnegie on Saturday. Speaking to the local media, he was impressed with the first experience of Kingsholm.
Gloucester Rugby kick off their Aviva Premiership campaign at Northampton Saints on Friday evening, and then return home to entertain the same opponent in the A League at Kingsholm on Monday September 8th.
Gloucester Rugby travelled to West Wales for their third and final preseason game ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership next week. The Scarlets were the opposition and Gloucester left Parc y Scarlets on the wrong end of a 29-24 scoreline.