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How will Gloucester’s back row line-up look next season after Jake Polledri’s Summer departure

Gloucester this week confirmed that Italian International back-rower will leave the club at the end of the season to take up a contract with Italian side Zebre, leaving a big whole in the side’s back-row.

With veteran Ben Morgan set to retire, and rumours circulating around the future of Jordy Reid, we take a look at Gloucester’s back-row options heading into next season.

Lewis Ludlow

The Gloucester Captain epitomises everything that the club is about, and has been in superb form across the last couple of seasons. Unlucky not to get an England call-up, the Kingsholm faithful have savoured having more game time from the ultra-committed openside and barring a minor miracle, he will be starting next campaign in the seven shirt.

The Gloucester Skipper romps home during his side’s demolition of Westcountry rivals Bath earlier this year

Ruan Ackermann

The bruising South-African born back-rower is another who can count himself unlucky to not have broken into the England squad over recent seasons, having accumulated plenty of praise for his dominant carrying abilities and game-changing performances in a somewhat inconsistent Cherry and White’s outfit.

Ruan Ackermann has been prolific for the club since signing in 2017

Another who’s form will be key to Gloucester’s success this year and next.

Albert Tuisue

Having joined this Summer from rivals London Irish, the barnstorming number-eight has had a bumpy start to life in the south-west. Although his performances have been stellar when he has been available, he has picked up two suspensions and what appears to be a long-term injury. If he can stay fit and keep his disciplinary record clean however, he will be an integral part of next year’s mate.

Zach Mercer (New signing)

Perhaps the most exciting of all the signings ahead of the 2023/24 Premiership Season, Gloucester’s acquisition of Montpellier’s player of the season is a stunning coup. Fast, agile, physical and skilful, the former Bath number-eight looks set to be part of England’s World Cup plans as his transfer makes him eligible for selection at a time where the England back-row is crying out for some dynamism. Gloucester’s fans will no doubt quickly warm to him, as his partnership with Ludlow and Ackermann will compromise one of the most lethal back-rows in the country.

Jack Clement

One of Gloucester’s young players who impressed in the early parts of the season in the Premiership Cup, his game time has been limited, but whenever called upon, he has looked dynamic and dangerous. Definitely a useful asset that will be utilised during next year’s campaign.

Clement earlier this season on Instagram after appearing in the Premiership Cup win over Worcester

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Jordy Reid

As mentioned previously, there is growing uncertainty around the Australian’s future at the club, with multiple reports suggesting he could be heading for the exit door this summer to make way for the arrival of Mercer. Having been on the peripheries for the majority of the season, the fans favourite looks to be creeping towards a move to London-based Ealing Trailfinders.

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