Planet Rugby

Gloucester quintet pen new deals

02nd January 2014 07:38

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James Simpson Daniel Gloucester AVP 2013

One club man: James Simpson-Daniel

Gloucester received a timely boost with the news that Darren Dawidiuk, Shaun Knight, Charlie Sharples, James Simpson-Daniel and Elliott Stooke have agreed new contracts with the club.

Dawidiuk is in his fifth season with Gloucester having signed from the Cornish Pirates. Since his arrival, he has been a regular in the first team squad and made 80 first team appearances.

The Truro born hooker brings an abrasive presence to the Gloucester front row and always impresses with his work in the set piece.

Shaun Knight, Gloucester born and bred, is another success story for the Gloucester Rugby Academy. He possesses a fine Gloucester pedigree with his father having represented the club during his playing career.

A former England U20 prop, he has amassed considerable first team experience over the past few seasons, and earned selection for the England Saxons.

Charlie Sharples is one of the club's biggest recent success stories, having come through the Academy system. The pacey wing, capped four times by England, boasts a superb strike rate with 47 tries from 108 competitive starts.

Former England flyer James Simpson-Daniel needs no introduction. Destined to go down as a Gloucester legend, he has made well over 250 competitive appearances over 14 seasons.

A one club man, Gloucester supporters will be pleased to see him extend his stay at Kingsholm.

Finally, 20-year-old lock Elliott Stooke has enjoyed an amazing few months. He was part of the England U20 squad that won the Junior World Championship for the first time back in June.

Upon his return to Gloucester, he has enjoyed a tremendous season to date, making 15 competitive first team appearances and scoring a try against Northampton Saints on his first Premiership start.

Director of Rugby Nigel Davies confirmed that the five players agreeing new deals is very positive news for the club, and that recruitment for 2013/14 is coming along nicely.

"I'm delighted that all four of them have committed their futures to Gloucester Rugby," he said.

"Charlie, Darren, James and Shaun have been a big part of the club's success in recent years and Elliott has a huge future in front of him.

"It's been a busy couple of months for us on top of the re-signings announced before Christmas and the arrivals next season of John Afoa and Richard Hibbard.

"The players can see where the club is heading, and are excited to be a part of that going forward. Their commitment speaks volumes.

"And, once again, it's a testimony to the hard work and commitment of everyone at the club.

"We're able to invest significantly in our team thanks to the backing of our board, the continued financial success of Gloucester Rugby and the significant investment made by our partners, sponsors and supporters."

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