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.
Named Man of the Match by BT Sport, scrum-half Willi Heinz said after the 15-11 win at Bath on Friday evening that it was a pretty happy Gloucester dressing room and reward for a lot of hard work put in during the week leading up to the game.
Speaking after the 15-11 win over Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, David Humphreys heaped praise on his players, pointing out how they had bounced back after last week's tough defeat to overcome a rough start before controlling the game and earning the win.
Gloucester Rugby hooker Richard Hibbard spoke to the local media this week as the Cherry and Whites prepare to face Bath Rugby in the Aviva Premiership. The Welshman is ready to bounce back at The Rec.
Speaking to the local media about the local derby against Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys acknowledged that it will be a tough encounter but hugely exciting at the same time and one the squad are looking forward to.
A visibly disappointed Billy Twelvetrees admitted that it was a very sombre Gloucester dressing room as a last minute try and conversion condemned the Cherry and Whites to an 18-19 defeat against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
A disappointed Tom Savage told GRTV, after the 18-19 defeat at home to the Leicester Tigers, that the whole Gloucester team had put in a fantastic effort, but just couldn't find the extra one or two percent necessary to put away a top side.
Speaking after the narrow loss to Leicester Tigers on Saturday afternoon, David Humphreys says despite there being a lot of good in Gloucester's performance, he rued the failure to close the game out, as well as thanking the home support
Kiwi second row Jeremy Thrush is thoroughly enjoying his time in Cherry and White so far, and this weekend the Leicester Tigers are the visitors to Kingsholm, and the All Black is massively excited about the challenge.
Gloucester Rugby make just the one change to the starting line up that won at Bath last Friday evening, flanker Matt Kvesic restored to the starting XV as the Cherry and Whites welcome Harlequins to Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick off 3pm).
The Early Bird deadline for ticket purchases for the Aviva Premiership fixture against Harlequins on Saturday will expire at 6:30pm on Thursday evening, with tickets already limited for one area of Kingsholm.