Rising stars sign senior contracts
ACADEMY youngsters Charlie Chapman, Alex Craig, Ciaran Knight, Tom Seabrook and Henry Walker have signed their first senior contracts with Gloucester.
Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys said: “For a club like Gloucester to be consistently successful at the highest level, we have to be able to produce a constant supply of talented, home grown players capable of performing at the highest level.
“That’s the challenge we’ve set Richard Whiffin and his staff over the past few seasons.
“It’s not something that happens overnight, but I genuinely feel that the hard work invested over the past few years is now really starting to pay off.” He continued: “For us to be able to offer senior contracts to this group of players, plus Alex Seville who signed earlier this season, is something I’m delighted to see and we’re all excited to see how they all continue to progress.” Chapman, 20, is the latest scrum-half to graduate from the academy having represented Scotland at youth level and the World Rugby U20 Championship in France last summer. Lock Craig, 21, who has made five first-team appearances, has also played for Scotland Under-20s and has been a regular for Hartpury in the Championship.
Prop Knight and hooker Walker, both 20, have represented England Under-20s and have been regular in the senior squad this season.
Versatile England Under-20 back Seabrook, 20, has made seven first-team appearances, breaking the record for the fastest try on a Premiership debut when he scored after just 58 seconds against Saracens on the final day of last season.
Gloucester head of academy Richard Whiffin said: “We put a lot of emphasis on the development of young players in our Academy both on and off the pitch, and we feel that these players have been tested, and exposed to the top level of rugby and this has really aided their development.”
Charlie Chapman and, right, Ciaran Knight