The success of the Gloucester Rugby Academy is reflected in the fact that eight of last year's Academy will be members of the senior squad in 2009-10.
Freddie Burns, Dave Lewis, Jordi Pasqualin, Tristan Roberts, Charlie Sharples, Yann Thomas, Henry Trinder and Dan Williams comprise the eight who have signed senior deals for 2009-10.
Most are already well known to Gloucester Rugby supporters. Lewis made eleven first team appearances whilst Sharples made nine appearances and scored his first senior try at home to Bath in the Guinness Premiership.
And, in recent weeks, Lewis, Sharples, Trinder, Williams as well as prop Shaun Knight featured for England U20s as they made the final of the Junior World Championship in Japan.
It's a huge tribute to the work done by Academy Manager Mark Cornwell and the relationships forged with the likes of Moseley, Cinderford and Hartpury College.
Cornwell told the club website recently:
"The production line seems to be working and I think a lot of that is down to dual registration. Our players have been gaining experience playing for Cinderford and Moseley and then going on to first team level."
"I should also mention the relationship with Hartpury College. A number of the boys have been gaining valuable playing experience within the very successful Hartpury set up."
"This is reflected in their promotion to South West 2 and in their EDF and BUCS triumphs at Twickenham within the space of a week last season."
"I'm delighted that so many of the lads are moving upwards through the ranks. It seems to be working well and we all hope it continues."
Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Bryan Redpath added:
"A successful Academy set up is vital for any Guinness Premiership club. It's good to have a steady progression of young, local talent coming up through the ranks."
"Some of them have already made the breakthrough and I hope that they'll all go on to become regulars in the first team squad."
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
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.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.
Having named an unchanged starting XV for the past three Aviva Premiership games, Gloucester Rugby ring the changes and retain only five players for Thursday's visit of Stade Rochelais in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 7:45pm).