England named their Under 20 Elite Playing Squad for 2009-10 last week with Gloucester once again well represented with five players selected.
The 32-man group will compete in the RBS U20 Six Nations campaign in the New Year before heading to the IRB Junior World Championship (JWC) in Argentina next June.
Head coach Mark Mapletoft can call on 16 players capped at Under 20 level last season, including seven who took part in the JWC in Tokyo this summer where England were beaten by New Zealand in the final.
Gloucester prop Shaun Knight was one of those who featured in Tokyo and he will be joined in the squad by team mates Danny Wright, Jordi Pasqualin, Freddie Burns and Jonny May.
Gloucester Rugby Academy Head Coach Mark Cornwell told the club website that he's delighted at the recognition that the club is receiving.
"It's really good news. I spoke to the coach, Mark Mapletoft, yesterday and he's been monitoring two or three players over the past 12 months."
"Players like Jonny May, Jordi Pasqualin who was called up late for one of the games last season and did well so it was always on the cards that he could be involved. The same goes for Danny Wright."
"And Shaun Knight and Freddie Burns were involved a lot last season as well so we were hopeful that they'd get selected on the back of what they did last year."
"So, it's great news and superb for the club and I'm just very proud to see Gloucester so well represented at that level."
Gloucester Rugby, of course, had five players on duty at the Junior World Cup in Tokyo in the summer. England made the final only to lose to New Zealand but Cornwell feels that the experience that someone like Shaun Knight gained on that tour will be vital.
"They came so close and for the second year in a year. Shaun was a year young but got a lot of game time out there. So, he'll be one of the senior players in this year's squad and the coaches will be looking for him to use his experience."
Of great importance now is ensuring that these young players get the right amount of experience at the right level and Cornwell explained what's lined up for them.
"Shaun and Danny will be playing most weeks for Cinderford while Freddie will play a mixture a first team, A league and Moseley."
"I think if Jonny May carries on the way he is then we could be seeing a lot more of him within the matchday 23 every week because he really has had a standout preseason."
And, of the players who featured for England in Tokyo but are now too old for U20 rugby, Cornwell is delighted that they've all been making their mark in Gloucester's preseason campaign.
"They've all had a really good preseason and performed well in the games that we've played. They've worked hard in training, they're well liked within the squad and seem to be making the step up."
"It speaks volumes for the level of talent in the area and our job is to try and harness and develop that talent."
"We're a rugby rich area with a lot of young talent coming through local schools and clubs. It could be better, I'd live to see six, seven or eight local players in the Gloucester first team."
"You're never entirely satisfied with what you've done but we'll use that as a starting point and try to kick on from there."
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