Ris­ing stars sign se­nior con­tracts

Gloucestershire Echo - - RUGBY UNION -

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

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