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."
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).