Rugby: Charlie Sharples amongst five players to sign new Gloucester contract

Stroud News and Journal: Charlie Sharples has signed a new contract with Gloucester Charlie Sharples has signed a new contract with Gloucester

FORMER Dursley youth player Charlie Sharples has committed his future to Gloucester.

The England international, who grew up in Stroud, joined Darren Dawidiuk, Shaun Knight, James Simpson-Daniel and Elliott Stooke have in signing new contracts with the club.

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

A constant threat with ball in hand, a buzz goes around Kingsholm every time the 25-year-old gets attacking ball to work with.

Director of rugby Nigel Davies said that recruitment for the 2013-14 season is coming along nicely.

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

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.

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

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

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 whilst also wondering why he only has ten caps for England.

Stooke, 20, 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.

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