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."
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.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Exeter Chiefs, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reiterated that there are elements of Gloucester's game that are in good shape at present, that the performance against Bath was a step forward from Newcastle but that individual errors are costing the Cherry and Whites dear.
Lesley Vainikolo was a welcome visitor to Kingsholm this week, reminiscing as he wandered around the stadium. The big winger is back in Gloucester to take part in Sunday's Mitsubishi Motors UK Hybrid Cup (kick off 3pm).
Centre Matt Scott, a try-scorer in Bayonne last weekend, insists that Gloucester are taking nothing for granted when they welcome Benetton Treviso to Kingsholm on Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm).