GLOUCESTER Rugby are advising supporters there are significant changes to ground regulations at Kingsholm this season.
In a move that will eventually ensure Kingsholm is a no-smoking stadium, none of the viewing areas in the ground - the C&G Grandstand, High Tech Stand, Shed or West Terrace - will permit smoking this season.
However, the club will provide provision for smokers behind the High Tech Stand and in the concourse areas of the ground.
"As ever in these situations, it is impossible to please 100% of the people all of the time and we recognise there are elements of our supporters who would like the opportunity to smoke at games," said Gloucester's operations manager, Sean Roberts.
"In time, we would like to move the stadium to a smoke-free zone but this allows us to introduce that measure in stages and we believe that is better for our supporters inside the ground as a whole."
The other change at the stadium for the 2008-9 season will be the gate opening times. The ground will now not be open until 2 hours before kick-off and Roberts added: "The draw on resources was unnecessary, particularly as 98% of supporters arrive within two hours of the kick off.
"So much goes into ensuring the stadium is fit and ready for use that the extra hour will also be critical and we hope supporters can understand why we have fallen into line with other Premiership clubs."
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Having named an unchanged starting XV for the past three Aviva Premiership games, Gloucester Rugby ring the changes and retain only five players for Thursday's visit of Stade Rochelais in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 7:45pm).