GLOUCESTER'S Dean Ryan has been named the Guinness Premiership head coach of the month for October.
Gloucester are the only unbeaten side remaining in the Guinness Premiership and on Saturday beat Saracens 21-12 at Kingsholm.
Tom Rees of Wasps was named the player of the month.
When presented with the award, Ryan said: "I am delighted to receive the Guinness Premiership award. We have built some momentum in the Guinness Premiership and our aim is to continue that to the best of our ability.
"Our win against Worcester in October was down to the team who showed tremendous resolve and maturity to earn a victory in what was undoubtedly one of the toughest away games of the season."
The voting panel chairman, Sky's Miles Harrison, said: "Dean Ryan's young Gloucester team has continued to show much promise in the early part of this Guinness Premiership season. The winning performance at Worcester in October was the perfect illustration of how these young players are fast maturing.
"Dean has been right to point out that the side is a work in progress but the voting panel also felt it was right to reward the Gloucester boss for the work he has done in helping to develop this talented set of players."
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
Following Saturday evening's exciting European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs, the Ticket Office at Kingsholm will be open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm for Club Members to purchase tickets for the Final.
Gloucester Rugby qualified for their first European final since 2006 as they defeated the in-form Exeter Chiefs by 30 points to 19 in a thrilling semi-final at Kingsholm on Saturday evening. The club photographer caught the best of the action.
Recent meetings between these two teams have often been thrillers, and this was no exception. It went down to the final few minutes, but Gloucester produced the goods when it mattered to qualify for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, beating Exeter 30-19.
Supporters who are still to purchase tickets for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm) are reminded that Early Bird prices are only valid until 6:30pm on Thursday evening.