GLOUCESTER have continued their vastly promising young recruitment drive by signing England Under-18 scrum-half Dave Lewis from Exeter.
The 17-year-old has agreed a one-year deal with the Kingsholm club and will combine his rugby development with a course in Sports Coaching and Conditioning at Hartpury College - Gloucester's training base.
Lewis is already in the Junior National Academy and Gloucester's assistant Academy manager Mark Cornwell told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk "Dave Lewis is one of the best players in his position and in his age group in the country, so we are very pleased to have signed him.
"We took significant strides last season in attracting and signing some of the most talented individuals in the country and this is a continuation of that. This is the next stage in that development and we are very pleased he has joined us.
"He will also be able to continue his education at Hartpury and the facilities on offer - on and off the rugby field - were key in his decision."
Lewis will be joined by lock Dan Tuohy, who is also a Hartpury student. Tuohy has agreed a one-year extension to his contract after signing last summer.
Tuohy, an Ireland Under-21 international second row, was a member of the Gold Scholarship scheme at Hartpury last season and instrumental in Gloucester's Guinness A League success.
Last season he combined studying Sports Coaching and Conditioning with his rugby, but this season he will solely dedicated to Gloucester and follows James Merriman and Jack Forster from Hartpury into the Kingsholm senior ranks.
Tuohy (21) is comfortable at either four or five and played for Weston-super-Mare in National Three South before starting his degree at Hartpury. This season he has been instrumental at the Pertemps Bees alongside Cornwell.
"Dan has done very well at Pertemps this season, taken his opportunities and really developed," Cornwell said. "He is a developing athlete and is capable of playing in the back row.
"He has been exposed to Guinness A League again this season and that can only aid his development in the long-term."
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
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.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.
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).