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)
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.
Lesley Vainikolo was a welcome visitor to Kingsholm this week, reminiscing as he wandered around the stadium. The big winger is back in Gloucester to take part in Sunday's Mitsubishi Motors UK Hybrid Cup (kick off 3pm).
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).