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.
Henry Purdy scored two memorable tries against London Welsh at Kingsholm on Saturday, and attributed the first one to hard work on the training ground before describing how much he's enjoying playing his rugby alongside friends like Callum Braley.
Gloucester face London Welsh for the third time this season when they meet at Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick off 3pm), but Director of Rugby David Humphreys insists his team are prepared for a tough game against the Exiles.
Billy Burns was a late call up to the Gloucester team that lost narrowly to the Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Friday evening and, speaking to GRTV post match, was full of praise for his team-mates but admitted that defeat was tough to take.
Speaking after what he described as an 'arm wrestle' up front, skipper Tom Savage couldn't fault his side's effort and commitment on the night at Welford Road but insisted that his side will keep on battling, starting at home to London Welsh next weekend.
A number of the Gloucester Rugby squad this week benefitted from an initiative organised by Circle 2 Success (C2S) and the Rugby Players Association (RPA) to help players develop their business planning skills.