Ben Morgan, Gloucester
BEN Morgan will get his Gloucester career off the ground next week, quite literally, when he takes part in a hot air balloon launch ahead of the JP Morgan Morgan Sevens at Kingsholm.
The England international number eight, who joined Gloucester this summer from the Scarlets, is currently away with the rest of the first team squad on a preseason training camp in France.
However, he will be back next week and will be taking part in an historic hot air balloon launch organized by local company Renishaw, already a key partner of the club’s Community department who have signed up to be Morgan’s player sponsor for 2012-13.
A great day of family entertainment takes place at Kingsholm on Thursday 26th July which culminates in the JP Morgan Sevens in the evening.
It’s a day that will include junior and senior rugby action, family entertainment and, of course, the historic hot air balloon launch which is the first out of Kingsholm since 1895.
The action kicks off at 1pm when local clubs will be taking part in the JP Asset Management Junior U14s 7s tournament.
Teams entered from local clubs include Cinderford RFC, Painswick RFC, Widden OB RFC, Minchinhampton RFC, Ledbury RFC, Spartans RFC, Newent RFC and Matson RFC.
The junior tournament will run throughout the afternoon with the final taking place at 5pm.
At 6:30pm a hot air balloon will lift off from the pitch at Kingsholm. The balloon will carry new signing Ben Morgan who will quite literally be launching his career at Gloucester.
The balloon is sponsored by locally based Renishaw, manufactured and operated by Gloucestershire-based Exclusive Ballooning, and is part of the company’s drive to raise its profile in the region to support recruitment activities, as it continues to add to the 1,650 employees that it already has in the county.
Chris Pockett, Renishaw’s Head of Communications explained: "We approached Gloucester Rugby with the idea and given the history surrounding balloon launches at Kingsholm they were very keen to work with us and the balloon operator to make it happen.
"It’s an exciting opportunity, the first flight for our balloon, and should be a great spectacle for all supporters who attend the JP Morgan 7s event on July 26th."
Kingsholm has, of course, a huge rugby tradition but it was also a venue used by some of the very early hot air balloon pioneers.
French balloonist, Auguste. E. Caudron, attracted much attention when he launched his hot air balloon from the Kingsholm ground in 1895.
Chris added:"The balloon, which carries the aviation code G-RENI, will be seen across the West Country for at least the next 3 years and will also appear at major ballooning events including the internationally renowned Bristol International Balloon Festival which takes place in August."
All this leads up to an exciting evening of JP Asset Management 7s rugby. The first game kicks off at 7.30pm when Gloucester Rugby take on the Exeter Chiefs.
It promises to be a great evening of entertainment with entry free for Gloucester Rugby season ticket holders.
Otherwise tickets, from as little as £5 per person, are available online at www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk, by phone on 0871 871 8781 or in person at the Ticket Office at Kingsholm.