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."
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-29 Aviva A League win over Wasps Rugby, Academy Coach Rich Whiffin explained his pride in the squad to overcome a strong opponent and book their spot in next week's Aviva A League final.
Willi Heinz returned from injury to skipper Gloucester to a famous 16-14 win over Stade Rochelais on Saturday evening. Speaking after the game in France, Heinz admitted the win wasn't pretty but was full of courage and a great result for the club.
Billy Burns contributed all Gloucester's points in the 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening, but dedicated the victory to the whole squad whilst also praising the travelling support.
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Speaking to GRTV after Saturday's 39-30 Aviva Premiership win over Sale, Mark Atkinson admitted that the performance wasn't perfect but that the team's character shone through in a game that could easily have slipped away.