The cream of Gloucestershire talent will have more than a potential trip to Twickenham to dream about this year with the hallowed turf of Kingsholm providing providing the venue for a crunch County Championship clash.
Gloucestershire will face Devon - likely to be their strongest opponents in the south west group - at the Cherry and Whites' headquarters on Sunday May 17th.
They kick off their county championship campaign against Somerset at Taunton RFC on May 9th and finish their group games against Cornwall at Cinderford's Dockham Road on May 23rd. All games are likely to kick off at 3pm.
Legendary Gloucester lock Mark Cornwell will take over the coaching reins for the county seniors working alongside Paul Williams who previously coached the squad with Dave Spencer.
The county are also likely to include a number of Gloucester Academy starlets this year thanks to both Academy Manager Cornwell's involvement and the groundwork put in by Nigel Gillingham.
Nigel is delighted at the involvement with Gloucester Rugby:
"I'm new to the role this season and one of the things I was really keen to do was to involve players from the Gloucester and Bristol Academies."
"I met with Mark Cornwell and with Geoff Moon, who was then Academy Manager at Bristol, to talk to them about making players available for the county championship and they were keen."
"After all, it could lead to invaluable experience with the England Counties side and I believe it benefits all parties."
"It's unlikely you are ever going to have current Premiership players involved in the county set up but there's no reason why the Academy lads shouldn't be."
"It's fantastic that Mark Cornwell has agreed to take on the coaching. Having him on board and playing at Kingsholm are major coups for the county."
"It's a big fillip for players getting the chance to play at such a famous Premiership ground. These are very exciting times."
The county coaches have assembled a training squad of around 45 players and Nigel is looking forward to a hugely competitive championships.
"The South West group is the toughest and that's exactly as it should be. It's a real challenge and the winners of it are always going to be favourites for the final. It's fantastic that the Devon game, which could well decide the outcome of the group, is being played at Kingsholm."
"Having Devon and Cornwall at home is the best we could have hoped for. It should be a great championship."
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).