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
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.
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).