4 to watch - Gloucester Rugby

16 February 2012

On Saturday 18th February, Bath Rugby take on local rugby Gloucester Rugby in the Aviva Premiership, kick off 2:30pm.  The game is a sell-out but you can buy tickets for the next home game against Worcester Warriors by clicking here or calling 0844 448 1865.

Here is a quick introduction to Saturday's opponents.

Ground – Kingsholm (16,500)

Founded - 1874

Club Captain –  Luke Narraway

Coach – Bryan Redpath

Current position in the Aviva Premiership – 8th (33pts)

4 to watch:

Charlie Sharples

The 22 year old winger quickly shrugged off the disappointment of not making England's World Cup squad earlier this season by getting back to what he does best – scoring tries for Gloucester.

Sharples boasts an impressive strike rate for Gloucester, scoring 38 tries in 88 appearances in all competitions including one against the Northampton Saints last weekend.

Progressed through the England U20 set up, playing in the Junior World Cup in Tokyo before shining for the England Saxons at the tail end of the 2010-11 season.

He then trained with the full England squad over the summer and earned his first cap as a replacement against Wales.

Sharples is currently a member of England's Elite Playing Squad but has yet to feature in this season's RBS Six Nations.

Jim Hamilton

Swindon born Hamilton, affectionately known as Big Jim by the Kingsholm faithful, has very quickly become a talismanic figure at the club.

He joined Gloucester in the summer of 2010 from Edinburgh, opting for the Cherry and White of Gloucester over the pink fleur de lys of Stade Francais.

The 6ft 8in powerhouse has now been capped more than 30 times for Scotland. He was prominent on the 2010 summer tour of Argentina, in the 2011 Rugby World Cup and has also started both Scotland's RBS Six Nations games so far this season.

He made a huge contribution to Gloucester's successful LV= Cup campaign last season, as well as the run to the Aviva Premiership semi final play off.

His impact was such that the club moved quickly to secure his services for the long term by agreeing a new contract with the 29 year old which will see him remain at Kingsholm until at least 2014.

Peter Buxton

Club stalwart Buxton is now in his tenth season at Gloucester having been Nigel Melville's first signing for the club.

One of the hardest working players in the Gloucester squad, his physicality and consistency has seen him regarded as a key member of the squad each and every season. Ask any professional rugby player and they will tell you that they want a player like 'Bucko' in the squad.

A local man, born in Cheltenham, he moved to Gloucester from Newport. He has captained the side on numerous occasions and has just embarked upon a celebration season to mark his time at Kingsholm.

The recent game at Worcester Warriors saw him make his 250th competitive appearance for the club – a significant achievement.

Rupert Harden

25 year old tight head prop Harden has been one of the biggest success stories of the past 18 months for Gloucester.

He was originally part of the Newcastle Falcons Academy set up but came to the attention of the Kingsholm management when he played for Tynedale against Cinderford.

He moved to Gloucester in the summer of 2009 when he was, by his own admission, behind the likes of Pierre Capdevielle, Paul Doran-Jones and Greg Somerville in the pecking order and spent time with Championship side Moseley as part of the dual registration scheme between the two sides.

The latter part of 2010-11 really saw him make a breakthrough when he was a first team regular after Christmas and Carl Hogg named him as the club's most improved forward at the end of season dinner.

2011-12 has seen the Melbourne born forward take his game to another level with selection for the England Saxons and he recently signed a contract extension.

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