Gloucester Rugby quartet to benefit from game time at Cinderford
NIGEL Davies and Andy Deacon will join forces to help propel four youngsters through the Gloucester ranks this term.
Gloucester have confirmed four dual-registration deals with Cinderford for the coming campaign.
Tighthead prop Tom Heard, new lock recruit Tom Hicks, hooker Ryan Charles and scrum-half Reece Boughton will all turn out for the Foresters this season.
Rugby director Davies wants his Gloucester youngsters to experience competitive action as often as possible.
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So this quartet will turn out regularly for Cinderford, as well as representing Gloucester United in the Premiership A League.
Powerful 19-year-old prop Heard has spent time at Dockham Road in the last two years, and will continue his front-row apprenticeship under Cinderford boss Deacon.
The Taunton-born tighthead is already one of Kingsholm's strongest men, but propping is as much as about nous as brute force, and acquiring the tricks of the trade takes time.
Summer signing Hicks found opportunities limited at Northampton Saints, but the 22-year-old is keen to accelerate his progress at Kingsholm.
Matson product Charles is Shaun Knight's cousin, and the 19-year-old hooker holds great promise for the future.
Scrum-half Boughton – another Matson man – is as tenacious as his pass is crisp and flat.
The 18-year-old made his senior Gloucester debut in the pre-season 42-17 defeat in Toulon on Friday, August 9, showing up well in a tidy cameo against a host of world stars.
Once the kiss of death, loan deals are now an integral step in many players' route to the top.
And Gloucester and Cinderford are combining resources once again to help Kingsholm's youngsters come of age.
Davies explained: "Central to this is our elite player development programme.
"It's our objective to ensure that all Gloucester players have a clear and progressive career pathway that also sees them playing Gloucester A games.
"By playing for Cinderford these guys will gain vital game-time to further develop their skills and ability.
"You can train as hard as you can but it's not the same as playing in matches, and it is important that all our players get competitive rugby on a regular basis."
Delighted Deacon expects all four men to battle hard for action at Cinderford this term, to help the Beavis Memorial Ground men compete at the sharp end of National League One.
Cinderford open their league schedule by hosting Rosslyn Park on Saturday, September 7 (2.30pm kick-off).
Deacon explained: "We have already had Tom Heard with us for a couple of seasons and to see how he has developed as a tough prop is impressive.
"We are glad to have him back alongside Tom Hicks, Ryan and Reece, and we welcome them into the squad. The aim is to fast-track their development so they are knocking on the door for a first team place at Gloucester."