GLOUCESTER'S head coach Dean Ryan has backed his brigade of youngsters cutting their teeth in the Premiership and believes the 'green shoots' of development shown this season will only benefit the club in the long-term.
The Kingsholm coach is confident the future of the club is bright - despite a difficult month that has been disrupted through injury and international call-ups.
But the likes of Luke Narraway, Jack Forster, Rob Elloway, Jonathan Pendlebury and Nick Wood have all produced performances that have shown a great deal of maturity and skill and Ryan believes they will only get better.
"We have still got injuries to people in key positions and that is something we are going to have to manage," Ryan said. "But in the last few weeks I think we have seen massive green shoots of dividend with regard to the future of the club and that will benefit us next year.
"I think it will take about 12 or 14 months to see these guys really come through in the Premiership but I have been very impressed with what these young guys have done for us now.
"We are starting to get the best out of that young group and it's very encouraging. They are pushing for regular places and that is what we want to try and achieve.
"You only have to look at somebody like Anthony Allen - he was close to being one of our first choice centres before England Under-21 commitments took over - and that is the sort of environment we want to achieve.
"Some of these guys have had little exposure to the Guinness Premiership but they will only get better over the long term.
"I was really impressed with the effort and commitment shown at Northampton and the only thing they were missing was the victory to go with it. The future of the club is bright and we want to continue to help it grow."
Gloucester face Bristol on Saturday and Ryan has yet to finalise his line-up. But he is expected to welcome back Mefin Davies and Mike Tindall from international duty and James Simpson-Daniel and Alex Brown from illness and injury respectively.
Speaking to the media following the 31-33 West Country Challenge Cup defeat to Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium, Director of Rugby David Humphreys was full of praise for his side's battling qualities in a bruising encounter but concerned about the injuries picked up.
The West Country Challenge Cup fixture against the Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium in Bristol on Saturday (kick off 3pm) will be Gloucester's last chance to work on things like new combinations says Director of Rugby, David Humphreys.
Speaking after the 30-21 West Country Challenge Cup defeat at Bath, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke of the improvements his team are making as preseason progresses but acknowledges that there is still work to do ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership.
Speaking to the local media ahead of Saturday's trip to Bath Rugby in the West Country Challenge Cup, front rower Nick Wood spoke of the hard work put in across the extended preseason and highlighted the competition for front row spots in the squad.
Gloucester have named a 30 man squad for the latest round of West Country Challenge Cup action against Bath on Saturday, with Director of Rugby David Humphreys stressing the need to keep an eye on player workload ahead of what will be a long, tough season.
Describing the 50-7 West Country Challenge Cup win over Bath on Sunday as a '...good hit out...', wing Charlie Sharples admitted that it had been a good opportunity to put into practice things that the squad have been trying out in training in recent weeks.
Speaking to the local media after the 50-7 victory over Bath Rugby on Sunday, David Humphreys was happy with his squad's effort, with the most important aspect being the game time earned by his players.
Gloucester make wholesale changes to the side that started at Exeter last Saturday as they prepare to take on Bath at the Memorial Stadium, Bristol on Sunday in the West Country Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm). The Director of Rugby told GRTV that the players are raring to go and that he's looking forward to seeing different combinations in action.