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
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
Supporters who are still to purchase tickets for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm) are reminded that Early Bird prices are only valid until 6:30pm on Thursday evening.
The Gloucester Wheelchair Rugby team travelled to Fenton Manor Complex, Stoke on Trent last Saturday to take part in the final round of the GBWR Super Series of the season, knowing just one win would be enough to crown them Division 3 Champions.