Gloucester sign youth trio

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The Independent Online

Gloucester have re-signed three of their promising youngsters on new contracts.

Gloucester have re-signed three of their promising youngsters on new contracts.

The openside flanker James Merriman, who captained Wales Under-21s in this year's Six Nations, and the loose-head prop Nick Wood, ever-present for England Under-21s last season, have both signed two-year contracts. The scrum-half Alex Page has agreed a one-year contract after gaining first-team experience at Kingsholm during the World Cup last autumn.

The Bath winger Brendon Daniel has signed a one-year deal as he looks to recapture his form of last season before he was ruled out with injury. Daniel made an instant impact after joining from neighbours Bristol, scoring four tries in six games.

Worcester face a tough opening fixture against Brive in the European Challenge Cup.

The newly promoted Zurich Premiership side will make their debut in continental competition at Sixways on 22 to 24 October.

They will look to the French winger Thomas Lombard, the England flanker Pat Sanderson and their director of rugby, Pat Keast, for advice. Lombard has joined from Brive's domestic rivals Stade Français, while Sanderson and Keast beat Brive with Harlequins in 2001.

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