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)
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
In the aftermath of the Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell was able to look forward to this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues (Kingsholm, kick off 8:05pm).
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.