JAMES FORRESTER and Bristol Rugby's head coach, Richard Hill, have been named Guinness Premiership Player and head coach of the month for September.
In this year of anticipation for club and country, the Guinness Premiership monthly awards are especially significant; with 17 nations represented in the world's most experienced domestic league, only the most outstanding individuals will be recognised for both the award and national selection come 2007.
On his win, Forrester said: "I worked very hard over the summer to get myself in the right physical condition and I am obviously very pleased with how the season has started for myself in terms of form and fitness. But I could not have won this award without the contribution of my team-mates because the start we have made this season has been a great team effort - I think it is great for me and the team."
The voting panel Chairman, SKY's Miles Harrison, said: "For some time now, James Forrester has been a prodigious talent and his form in the first month of the Guinness Premiership may well have strengthened his case for international recognition. Certainly, those around him at Gloucester believe he has never been better equipped to meet that challenge."
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees told GRTV after the win in Brive that the game could have been a tough one to get up for, but that his Gloucester team mates did themselves proud on the night and got a big result.
Reflecting on the 31-20 victory in Brive on Thursday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys said that clinching a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final was the overall aim and duly achieved.
Gloucester may have already clinched a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys wants his side to finish the pool stages on a winning note in Brive on Thursday evening.
Speaking after Saturday's win, James Hudson was happy to record a bonus-point win against a hugely physical Oyonnax side as Gloucester secured their passage into the European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter Finals
Billy Burns was a try scorer on his first European start for Gloucester and, speaking after the game, admitted that it was good to get the five points although there are still things to work on before the trip to Brive.
Gloucester Rugby have added to their front row strength in depth for next season with the signings of Paul Doran-Jones, Paddy McAllister and Nicky Thomas from Harlequins, Aurillac and the Ospreys respectively.
Connacht's 30-20 win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening means that they are the third best placed runners up and will come to Kingsholm for the quarter-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup in early April.