Finding and developing local talent has always been high on the agenda at Gloucester Rugby, and the commitment to this approach has been reinforced with the news that Robin Eager and Richard Whiffen have joined the Academy staff.
Eager will take on the role of Academy Athletic Performance Coach working alongside Kevin Mannion, while Whiffen has been named as Academy Backs Coach, succeeding Tim Taylor who is now working exclusively with the First Team squad.
Both of the new arrivals boast a wealth of experience – Eager started his career with the Leicester Tigers but has spent the past 12 months working with the RFU in a Sports Science capacity and was involved with the U20s side in their successful Junior World Championship campaign recently.
Meanwhile, Whiffen spent more than ten years with London Irish, starting in an Analysis role before becoming an Assistant Coach to the First Team. He has also worked with the England Saxons and Argentina.
Head of Academy Neil McCarthy told the club website that he's delighted to have been able to attract individuals of such quality to the club.
"Understandably, it's the investment in the first team squad, in terms of players and coaches, that tends to catch the eye. But, at a club like Gloucester Rugby, it's equally as important that we invest in our future through the Academy.
"Identifying and developing our own talent is key as we seek to compete at the highest level. Gloucester has a fine history when it comes to local players representing the team at first team level, However, we have to keep moving forward or we'll lose ground.
"That's why it's incredibly important that the club continues to invest in the Academy – in the players, the facilities and the staff. We've made a start, both the U18s and United sides performed well last season but, ultimately, we won nothing. And we want to rectify that.
"Robin's got an impressive track record when it comes to working with the best young players in the country while Rich's background speaks for itself. We want the best people to be working with our young players to help them become the best they can be.
"Robin and Rich and both excellent appointments and I'm looking forward to working with them and, as a team, helping to produce as much first team level talent as we can through the Academy."