RUGBY: Young star Stooke one of five to commit futures to Gloucester

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Elliott Stooke, with some Stow RFC juniors Elliott Stooke, with some Stow RFC juniors

ELLIOTT STOOKE, the 20-year-old find of the season at Kingsholm, is one of five current players who have all signed new contracts with Gloucester rugby.

Stooke, a lock who came though the ranks at Stow RFC, 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.

The other four to extend their deals at Gloucester are Darren Dawidiuk, Shaun Knight, Charlie Sharples and the currently-sidelined James Simpson-Daniel.

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 has made 80 first team appearances.

Knight, Gloucester born and bred, is another success story for the club’s academy. A former England U20 cap, he has amassed considerable first team experience over the past few seasons and has been picked for the England Saxons.

Sharples, 25, also came through the club's academy system. The pacy winger, capped four times by England, boasts a superb strike rate with 47 tries from 108 competitive starts.

Simpson-Daniel, a one-club man, has made well over 250 competitive appearances in 14 seasons. He also has ten caps for England.

Director of rugby Nigel Davies said: "I'm delighted that all of them have committed their futures to Gloucester. 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.”

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