GLOUCESTER Academy prop Jack Forster has been named in the Junior National Academy squad for the forthcoming season.
Forster, who joined Gloucester's Academy set-up this summer, was one of 18 players named by Brian Ashton, the RFU's National Academy Manager.
The young prop could feature for the West Country club this Friday when a development side entertain Doncaster at Kingsholm on Friday night (Fri 19 Aug, kick off 7.30pm).
The England selection represents the most talented 16-19-year-olds in the country and will be in contention for national under-19 selection this season.
Mark Hewitt, Gloucester's Academy manager, told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk "It's always good for the club to have a player included in the squad. He is a very big young man and we will work on his conditioning but he is on the selection path of England Under-19s.
"He will look to play international group rugby and then even higher - he has already trained with Gloucester's senior squad."
Ashton and the RFU's coaches John Wells, Jim Mallinder and Tosh Askew have been coaching the players at the University of Bath in recent weeks.
Ashton said: "It was harder to make the final selection this year than any other year because of the really high standard on offer. The work both players and national academy coaches have done in our two JNA camps in Bath has been outstanding.
"Despite significant pressure on all of them, they've developed in all areas of the game. The players have shown a high level of performance, great resiliance and they've managed to keep a sense of humour throughout. I now look forward to seeing these players develop further throughout the season."
JUNIOR NATIONAL ACADEMY 2005-06
Danny Care, scrum half, (Leeds Tykes),
Daniel Cipriani, fly half (London Wasps and Whitgift School),
Calum Clarke, flanker (Leeds Tykes and Barnard Castle School),
Oliver Dodge, wing/centre (Leicester Tigers),
David Doherty, wing/fullback (Leeds Tykes),
Jack Forster, prop, (Gloucester, Hartpury College),
Adam Greendale, fly half (Leeds Tykes and Hymers College),
Tom Mercey, prop (Saracens),
Matt Mullan, front row (Worcester Warriors and Bromsgrove School)
Chevvy Pennycook, back row (Bristol and St Brendan's 6th Form College)
Simon Pitfield, lock (Northampton Saints and Bedford School)
Andrew Saull, flanker (Saracens and Bancroft's School)
Joseph Simpson, scrum half (London Wasps and St Benedict's School)
David Tait, back row (Sale Sharks)
Jordan Turner-Hall, centre (NEC Harlequins and Brighton College)
Dominic Waldouck, centre (London Wasps and Latymer Upper School)
Michael Youngs, scrum half (Newcastle Falcons)
Tom Youngs, centre (Leicester Tigers and Gresham's School)
Northampton away was the first Gloucester game under David Humphreys last season, but the Director of Rugby told the local media that the Cherry and Whites are a different proposition compared to 12 months ago and are looking forward to the challenge.
Having skippered Gloucester against the Barbarians last week, Nick Wood once again wore the captain's armband on Monday evening as Gloucester United kicked off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign with a bonus point win at Leicester.
Gloucester recorded a 32-20 win over La Rochelle on Thursday evening, and second row Jeremy Thrush was thrilled to pick up the victory on his first taste of a trip to France and the hostile atmosphere.
Gloucester were forced to battle for their 33-20 victory in La Rochelle on Thursday evening, something that centre Bill Meakes said that he and the squad were well prepared for as well as thanking the travelling support for the part they played.
Gloucester got off to a winning start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend, but Head Coach Laurie Fisher is expecting a much tougher challenge when the Cherry and Whites travel to La Rochelle for Thursday night's Round Two encounter.
Dan Thomas was a try scorer in the 14-62 defeat at the hands of the Barbarians on Tuesday evening, but told GRTV after the game that he'd really enjoyed taking on the Barbarians and locking horns with Ardie Savea at the breakdown.
After a long, hard battle to return to fitness, Henry Trinder made his long awaited comeback in the second half of the 23-10 win over Zebre on Saturday and admitted he was taken aback by the reception he got from the Kingsholm crowd.
After missing out on Gloucester's two recent European fixtures, Jonny May is back on the left wing for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture at Northampton, while Mariano Galarza is named in the matchday squad for the first time this season.