James Forrester has joined Gloucester's six senior Elite Player Squad members in the 42-man England training list for a three-day session in Leeds next week in preparation for the RBS Six Nations Championship.
Forrester, who was named in the Elite Player Squad Academy list on Tuesday, will join up with Henry Paul, Alex Brown, Andy Gomarsall, Andy Hazell, James Simpson-Daniel and Phil Vickery.
For the first time, the squad will spend part of the session training with Leeds Rhinos, the current rugby league champions.
Robinson selected a squad that includes Jonny Wilkinson (Newscastle Falcons), Mike Tindall (Bath) and Martin Corry (Leicester Tigers), as it is anticipated they will recover from injury in time to play a part in the RBS 6 Nations.
This is the first time the England squad have trained with rugby league. The initiative is led by England head coach Andy Robinson, who has planned the session with Leeds Rhinos head coach Tony Smith.
As England prepare for the RBS 6 Nations and Leeds Rhinos prepare for their match against the Australian NRL Champions Canterbury Bulldogs next month, both codes anticipate benefitting from these joint sessions. Said Robinson,
"We're looking forward to training with the Rhinos tremendously. It's fair to say Tony, myself and our coaches are excited about the whole concept. It's uncharted territory for all of us. We can all learn something from each other and anything that gives you an edge is always worth doing."
All 42 players invited to Leeds are part of the revised 2004-2005 Elite Player Squad (including the Academy and Sevens list) of 56 players.
ENGLAND PLAYERS FOR LEEDS TRAINING
ABBOTT, Stuart - London Wasps
BALSHAW, Iain - Leeds Tykes
BARKLEY, Olly - Bath
BEATTIE, Andy - Bath
BORTHWICK, Steve - Bath
BROWN, Alex - Gloucester
CHUTER George - Leicester Tigers
COHEN, Ben - Northampton Saints
CORRY, Martin - Leicester Tigers
CUETO, Mark - Sale Sharks
DAWSON, Matt - London Wasps
DEACON, Louis - Leicester Tigers
ELLIS, Harry - Leicester Tigers
FORRESTER, James - Gloucester
GOMARSALL, Andy - Gloucester
GREWCOCK, Danny - Bath
HAZELL, Andy - Gloucester
HODGSON, Charlie - Sale Sharks
JONES, Chris -Sale Sharks
KAY, Ben - Leicester Tigers
KING, Alex - London Wasps
LEWSEY, Josh - London Wasps
MOODY, Lewis - Leicester Tigers
NOON, Jamie - Newcastle Falcons
PAUL, Henry - Gloucester
ROBINSON, Jason - Sale Sharks
ROWNTREE, Graham - Leicester Tigers
SHAW, Simon - London Wasps
SHERIDAN, Andy - Sale Sharks
SIMPSON-DANIEL, James - Gloucester
STEVENS, Matt - Bath
SMITH, Ollie - Leicester Tigers
TAIT, Mathew - Newcastle Falcons
THOMPSON, Steve - Northampton Saints
TINDALL, Mike - Bath
TITTERRELL, Andy - Sale Sharks
VICKERY, Phil - Gloucester
VOYCE, Tom - London Wasps
VYVYAN, Hugh - Saracens
WHITE, Julian - Leicester Tigers
WILKINSON, Jonny - Newcastle Falcons
WORSLEY, Joe - London Wasps
Speaking to the local media this week, back row flanker Jacob Rowan said that he is excited for the challenge at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday, and added that the players know the responsibility is theirs to deliver against the league leaders.
Ben Morgan was on media duty this week, and as Gloucester prepare for Sunday's trip to Wasps, the number eight is looking forward to see Gloucester go toe-to-toe with another of the Aviva Premiership's front runners.
Tom Marshall scored his first Gloucester try in the 31-23 win over Saracens on Friday evening and was named Man of the Match. Talking to GRTV, he praised the forwards for setting the tone on the night.
Matt Scott was on media duty this week, and the Scottish international spoke about the benefit of having a full week of training with his club mates and the determination to get back to performing well against Saracens this Friday evening.
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Following the conclusion of the Aviva Premiership game against Harlequins on Saturday, it'll be the turn of the Gloucester-Hartpury Women to grace the Kingsholm turf when they take on Worcester Ladies IIs.
Westbury-on-Severn RFC was the host on Friday as the Gloucester Rugby Community Department joined pupils from schools in the Forest of Dean for a tag rugby festival as part of the Aviva Tackling Numbers delivery.