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."
As Gloucester prepare for their 39th game of the season, against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday, David Humphreys told the local media that this week has been all about getting the players mentally and physically ready after a tough game against Connacht last Sunday.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-32 victory over Connacht on Sunday, skipper Billy Twelvetrees explained that Gloucester had had to learn to be patient and cut out the errors to earn the win and progress to next weekend's final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.