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OPINION: Gloucester Youngsters Take Their Chance

While the First Team were on International Duty, the youngsters stepped up to the plate.

As the Aviva Premiership returns this weekend, Gloucester Rugby can look back on a successful two weeks in the Anglo Welsh Cup.

With a remarkable comeback against Saracens at Kingsholm and a narrow defeat to Northampton Saints, some of the Gloucester youngsters have given David Humphreys something to think about over the past two weeks.

Here are some of the players who stood out from the crowd.

Ollie Thorley

Ollie became the youngest player to play for the first team in the professional era when he played in the LV Cup fixture at Northampton Saints in November 2013.

Since then, the young winger has continued to impress, becoming the club’s youngest first team try scorer when he scored against the Ospreys in 2015.

Cherry and White fans will also remember Thorley scoring on his Premiership debut last season in a win against Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm.

Ollie capped off two solid performances with a try against Northampton on Saturday, and the youngster is continuing to knock on the door for a starting place with Jonny May away on England duty.

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Mat Protheroe

The 20-year old burst onto the scene with some great performances for the England U20’s in the Six Nations earlier this year.

Predominantly a fly-half but having also played a few games in the 15 jersey, Protheroe has been plying his trade for Hartpury College over the past two seasons.

The Hartpury college first team are currently on a run of eleven consecutive bonus point wins, and Mat’s kicking from the tee and link up play have been instrumental to their success.

With 85 metres carried and six defenders beaten, the most by any player that weekend, Protheroe more than seized his opportunity in the first team against Saracens.

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Callum Braley

Brought into the Gloucester side in 2014 from Bristol to add depth at half-back, Braley has begun to prove his worth in recent months.

Making several first team appearances already this season, Callum’s bonus point try in Europe against Benetton Treviso has shown he is more than ready for first team action.

Braley put in two very impressive performances, showing a level of maturity that essential for a first choice half-back.

His kicking from hand was pinpoint, and with Greig Laidlaw currently away on international duty, Braley has certainly staked his claim for the nine jersey when Gloucester host Wasps this weekend.

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