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."
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).