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."
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
After a series of contract announcements last week, hooker Richard Hibbard is the latest Gloucester Rugby player to commit to a new contract at the club and told GRTV how much he enjoys playing in the Cherry and White of Gloucester.
A try scorer in the 36-18 Aviva Premiership win over Wasps at Kingsholm on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted that Gloucester would enjoy the moment but can't get too carried away. The team got what they deserved but the winger wants these performances to be more frequent.
England Head Coach Eddie Jones has made two changes to his side to play Australia in Saturday's final match of the Old Mutual Wealth Series at Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 2.30pm, live on Sky Sports 2). Jonny May lines up on the left wing.