SIMON AMOR and Henry Paul have been selected for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
The Team England rugby sevens squad will be captained by Amor and he will be joined by play-maker Paul. Both players have represented England at the last Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.
The 15-player travelling squad will leave for Australia on Sunday 5th March, but will be reduced to a final 12-man squad prior to the start of the tournament on 16th March.
Speaking on his selection, captain Amor said, "I am absolutely thrilled to be given this chance. The Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002 was one of the highlights of my career but losing there was also one of the most disappointing moments of my life.
"I am really looking forward to having the chance to go to Australia, make up for the loss four years ago and do everything we can to bring back the gold medal for England."
England Sevens Coach Mike Friday looks to Amor's experience to help the youngsters in the squad. "Simon is a fantastic leader and inspirational captain. He knows exactly what is expected of him and the other players on the big occasions and works brilliantly with the youngsters. Simon played a key part in the last Commonwealth Games and I am glad that I can rely on Simon both on and off the field."
Paul is an experienced sevens player and in Simon's absence he recently captained the England Sevens team to victory in Los Angeles Sevens. Speaking on his selection Henry said, "I am so pleased to have been named in the squad.
"The Manchester Games was a great experience and I can't wait to get to Melbourne and hopefully be involved again. I love playing sevens and am really enjoying being part of this England Sevens squad. There is a great team atmosphere and everyone is gunning for one of the 12 spots on offer."
Mike Friday says of Henry, "I will be looking to Henry's experience and his ability to play a key role in this squad. If he can offer the leadership and the performance he showed in Los Angeles recently then I am sure Henry will have a big say come the Games in a couple of weeks."
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Exeter Chiefs, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reiterated that there are elements of Gloucester's game that are in good shape at present, that the performance against Bath was a step forward from Newcastle but that individual errors are costing the Cherry and Whites dear.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.
Centre Matt Scott, a try-scorer in Bayonne last weekend, insists that Gloucester are taking nothing for granted when they welcome Benetton Treviso to Kingsholm on Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm).