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 after the 37-8 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Benetton Treviso, James Hook admitted that the Italian side made things tough for Gloucester at times but that the Cherry and Whites are happy to take the bonus point win and turn their focus to Northampton next week.
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
The Gloucester Rugby Half Term Rugby Camps got off to a great start on Monday morning, with over 60 young rugby players braving the chilly weather to experience a great day of skills, learning and fun thanks to the Gloucester Rugby Community Department.
A number of Gloucester Rugby's promising young players are currently playing their competitive rugby on loan at other clubs, and six of them featured in Saturday's game between London Welsh and Rotherham Titans.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.