Gloucester sign duel-qualified SA teenager in 'ground-breaking move'
Gloucester have confirmed the signing of a dual-qualified South African teenager – Gareth Blackmore – to their academy.
The 18-year-old Blackmore, who was attached to the Western Province rugby union, is qualified to play for both South Africa and England will be enrolled in Hartpury College’s rugby programme from January.
Blackmore was born in Richard’s Bay near Durban, South Africa, before moving down to Cape Town in 2013. He broke into Rondebosch 1st XV a year early as a hooker, although he also able to play in the back row.
Last year Blackmore captained the Rondebosch Boys’ High School first XV in a season in which they excelled, breaking numerous school 1st XV records. He was subsequently selected for Western Province Schools in South Africa’s provincial tournament, The Craven Week, which Western Province Schools won.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have signed Gareth Blackmore in a ground-breaking move,” said Director of Academy & Development Carl Hogg. “Gareth is a very highly rated young South African player, who has attracted attention from several provincial sides, but with his grandparents born in the UK he has chosen to pursue his professional rugby career here at Gloucester Rugby.
A great end to an outstanding week for WP and Bosch with WP ending an unbeaten by beating Bulls 29-21 in the final match of the week. Bosch contributions from Gareth Blackmore, Jamie King (physio), Jamie Ricketts, Jono Birhange, Clint van Rensburg (head coach) & Rob Sims (physio) pic.twitter.com/CpCIQcO9Ra
— Rondebosch Boys' HS (@Rondebosch_Boys) July 9, 2022
“Gloucester Rugby have linked up with Hartpury University to provide the ideal opportunity for Gareth to benefit from a Premiership training environment but also enable him to study and play in the competitive BUC’s Super Rugby programme.
“We believe that individuals should develop as people as well as players, therefore, this relationship with Hartpury provides the perfect balance of education and professional development.
“We look forward to welcoming Gareth to Kingsholm at the start of the New Year.”
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