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."
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.