GLOUCESTER'S head coach Dean Ryan has backed young centre Jack Adams to continue his development following his crucial try-scoring cameo against Bath on Saturday.
The former St Peter's schoolboy, who will be 20 later this month, was a second half replacement for the injured Iain Balshaw in the west country derby and responded with a dazzling individual score that set Gloucester on their way to a 24-19 victory.
It was a sweet return for Adams, who missed virtually all of last season with serious ligament damage to his knee on A team duty against Saracens.
But Ryan is convinced Adams, who replaced Balshaw on the wing, is capable of joining fellow youngsters Anthony Allen, Olly Morgan and Ryan Lamb in playing a key role for the club this season.
"We have always been aware that Jack has incredible talent but we have to be patient with him because he suffered a horrendous injury last season," Ryan said.
"We must give him great credit because he has worked exceptionally hard to get back to fitness and to see him return like he did at the weekend was fantastic.
"There is a long way to because he has been out of the game for a long time but before his injury we saw glimpses of his ability and there is certainly more to come.
"At this stage he will not be rushed but he has been a great credit to the club and Saturday's performance will have given his confidence a huge boost."
Meanwhile, Gloucester will monitor the fitness of Balshaw in the coming days after he sustained an ankle injury on Saturday. He will undergo a scan tomorrow but the injury is not thought to be serious.
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.