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 recorded a 32-20 win over La Rochelle on Thursday evening, and second row Jeremy Thrush was thrilled to pick up the victory on his first taste of a trip to France and the hostile atmosphere.
Gloucester were forced to battle for their 33-20 victory in La Rochelle on Thursday evening, something that centre Bill Meakes said that he and the squad were well prepared for as well as thanking the travelling support for the part they played.
Gloucester got off to a winning start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend, but Head Coach Laurie Fisher is expecting a much tougher challenge when the Cherry and Whites travel to La Rochelle for Thursday night's Round Two encounter.
Dan Thomas was a try scorer in the 14-62 defeat at the hands of the Barbarians on Tuesday evening, but told GRTV after the game that he'd really enjoyed taking on the Barbarians and locking horns with Ardie Savea at the breakdown.
After a long, hard battle to return to fitness, Henry Trinder made his long awaited comeback in the second half of the 23-10 win over Zebre on Saturday and admitted he was taken aback by the reception he got from the Kingsholm crowd.
21 year old number eight Lewis Ludlow formed part of a physical back row effort in the 23-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup over Zebre on Saturday. Speaking to GRTV after the game, he spoke of making the most of his chances and being happy to contribute to the Gloucester win.
Gloucester United kick off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Monday evening (kick off 7pm) and have named a side which features lots of first team experience.