RUGBY: Former Stow graduate Elliott Stooke to start for the Saxons

FORMER Stow RFC youngster Elliott Stooke made his England Saxons debut in front of his home Gloucester rugby fans at Kingsholm in the 13-8 defeat by the Ireland Wolfhounds.

The Irish had to defend for their lives against a mighty late Saxons onslaught.

It has been a meteoric few months for giant lock forward Stooke who made his full Gloucester debut only in September and has now added Saxons selection, having come off the replacements bench. Stooke has previously represented England at U18 and U20 level.

“It was a great experience, but just a shame about the result," he said.

Stooke gets a start in the second row for tomorrow's Saxons game against Scotland A when he will be joined in the England line-up by Gloucester team-mates Freddie Burns and Dan Robson.

Another who wears the Cherry & White, Jonny May, goes straight into the full England side which opens its Six Nations campaign against France at the Stade de France on Saturday.

May, who played his formative rugby at Wootton Bassett, has just one previous cap. He will play alongside Billy Twelvetrees in the England backs.

Gloucester have signed 21-year-old flanker Thomas Young from Cardiff Blues until the end of the season. They have also extended the contract of Tonga prop Sila Puafisi, who came to Kingsholm on a short-term deal in December.

Puafisi has made eight international appearances for Tonga.

But going the other way are back row forward Matt Cox, 25, and centre Ryan Mills, 21, who are teaming up with former Gloucester boss Dean Ryan at Worcester Warriors.

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