Simpson-Daniel to stay at home

Thu, 02 Jan 2014 12:15
Large james simpson daniel

England wing James Simpson-Daniel is one of five players to have extended their contracts at Gloucester.

England wing James Simpson-Daniel is one of five players to have extended their contracts at Gloucester.

The 31-year-old, who is currently sidelined by an ankle injury, has turned down opportunities to join France's money-spinning Top 14 in favour of extending his 13-year career at Gloucester.

He joins Charlie Sharples, Elliott Stooke, Darren Dawidiuk and Shaun Knight, who have also signed new contracts with the Kingsholm outfit.

"I'm delighted they have committed their futures to Gloucester," Director of  Rugby Nigel Davies told the club's website.

"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 and the significant investment made by our partners, sponsors and supporters."

The new deal for hooker Dawidiuk, coupled with the signing of Hibbard from Ospreys, suggests that Australia front-rower Huia Edmonds will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The signings are great news for Gloucester to kick off the New Year, and a welcome boost ahead of Saturday's visit to Kingsholm by Premiership leaders Saracens.

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.

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

A former England Under-20 player, he has amassed considerable first team experience over the past few seasons, and earned selection for the England Saxons.

Charlie Sharples is one of the club's biggest recent success stories, having come through the Academy system. The pacey wing, 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.

James 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.

Finally, 20-year-old Elliott Stooke has enjoyed an amazing few months. He was part of the England U20 squad that won the Junior World Championship for the first 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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