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Simon Linsell joins Gloucester Rugby as Senior Academy squad for 2019-20 is confirmed


15 May 2019

Duncan Wood

Simon Linsell
Simon Linsell (c) Lauren Couchman/ LNC Images

Gloucester Rugby can confirm their Senior Academy squad for next season, which includes the signing of Hartpury RFC’s captain and Player of the Season, Simon Linsell.

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It’s something of a return for second row Linsell who played a big part in Hartpury RFC maintaining their Greene King IPA Championship status in the season that has just come to a conclusion.

Earlier in his career, he was part of a Gloucester Rugby U18s set-up that also included the likes of Lewis Ludlow and Ollie Thorley and also featured in Premiership Rugby A League action several times.

He moved away from the area to study Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at Exeter University, and captained the University side before returning last season to join Hartpury RFC where he made a real impact.

He will be part of a Senior Academy squad that, in recent seasons, has seen a number of players feature at first team level, both domestically and in Europe, and move up to the first team squad.

Moving up from the successful U18s set-up are Harry Fry, Ethan Hunt, Jenson Boughton, Joe Howard, Jack Clement, Josh Gray, Stephen Varney, George Barton, Isaac Marsh and Louis Rees-Zammit showing that the pipeline is in good health.

Simon Linsell

Simon Linsell (c) Lauren Couchman/ LNC Images

Linsell admitted that he’s delighted to return to familiar territory.

“It’s fantastic to be returning to where it all first started for me. I’ve really enjoyed my rugby at Exeter University and with Hartpury RFC, but I’m massively looking forward to moving into a fully professional environment and seeing what I can achieve.

“I’d like to thank Hartpury RFC in particular. Last season was incredibly challenging, but I learned a lot as a player and am obviously delighted that we managed to stay up.

“But now, I can’t wait for preseason, to link up with my team-mates and to see what contribution I can make.”

Meanwhile, Gloucester Rugby’s Head of Academy Richard Whiffin is looking for bright things from next season’s squad.

“We’ve put in a lot of hard work over the past few seasons in the local community to identify and develop the best local talent, and I’m delighted that we’re starting to see really positive results.

“The players who have moved up into the first team squad have all made the most of their opportunities, and we’re equally as excited with next season’s group, particularly based on what our U18s achieved last season.”

The club would also like to thank those players who are moving on and wish them well for the future.

Gloucester Rugby Senior Academy 2019-20

Ollie Adkins, Harry Fry, Ethan Hunt, Jack Bartlett, Jenson Boughton, Simon Linsell, Archie Benson, Harry Butler, Aaron Hinkley, Joe Howard, Jack Clement, Josh Gray, Stephen Varney, George Barton, Isaac Marsh, Jack Reeves, Jake Morris, Alex Morgan, Reece Dunn, Louis Rees-Zammit, Tom Stanton