GLOUCESTER have scotched rumours linking former England ace Ben Morgan with a switch to reigning Aviva Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs.

Morgan’s appearances at number eight with the Cherry and Whites have been less this season than in previous campaigns as Ruan Ackermann, son of head coach Johan, has impressed and held the jersey.

There have been claims that the back row would be on his way to Sandy Park as a replacement for Exeter’s Thomas Waldrom who is leaving to return to New Zealand, but Gloucester, who have consistently had a policy of not responding to speculation, have done so this time.

Their club Twitter account said: “Throw enough darts, some hit! Ben still has 2 years left on his contract that he signed last year. Nothing to see here.”

Meanwhile, another ace made his comeback from injury on Saturday in Gloucester’s 25-25 draw with Wasps at Kingsholm and is ready to kick on with the season now.

Wing Charlie Sharples played his first match after injury and the 28-year-old former England international was pleased with how the game went, particularly as Gloucester’s injury crisis on the wings meant he had to get through the entire eighty minutes of the match without being replaced.

Sharples said this weekend’s Kingsholm clash with Newcastle Falcons, who are two points above the Cherry and Whites in the fourth Premiership play-off place, is key for their season, particularly after Newcastle won away at Harlequins last Saturday.

“Saturday will be massive for us, given the result for Newcastle last weekend. We have to turn up and get a win,” said Sharples.

“We don’t need to over-complicate it, just cut out some of the errors we have made and keep trying to improve.”

As for his own fitness, the 28-year-old said: “I feel good. It was great to be back out there. It has been a frustrating six weeks for me so I was pleased I was able to push it.

“We have a bit of an injury crisis with the wingers so that opened the door for me to get back in last week. I was pleased to get eighty minutes under my belt.”