Scott Lawson will make his Guinness Premiership debut for Gloucester tomorrow.
SCOTT LAWSON will make his Guinness Premiership debut for Gloucester tomorrow when they face Newcastle Falcons at Kingsholm (7.45pm).
The Scotland international and former Sale Sharks hooker comes into the starting line-up in place of Olivier Azam, who moves to the bench.
Andy Titterrell was not considered for selection after taking a bang to the head during Gloucester's 23-9 defeat at Edgeley Park on Friday.
Lawson signed for Gloucester earlier this month on a contract that will run until the end of next season and has been capped 16 times by his country.
He is one of three changes to the Gloucester pack from the one that faced Sale last week. Nick Wood returns at loose-head prop in place of David Young, while Alasdair Strokosch comes in on the openside flank in place of Andy Hazell, who moves to the bench.
At half-back, scrum-half Gareth Cooper returns in the number nine shirt in place of Rory Lawson and Olly Barkley gets his first opportunity at stand-off.
Mike Tindall will skipper the side from the number 12 position, while Matthew Watkins will retain the number 13 shirt. There are two changes in the back three.
Olly Morgan returns to full-back following his spell on the bench last weekend, Iain Balshaw moves from number 15 to the flank in place of Lesley Vainikolo and James Simpson-Daniel completes the back three.
"With a turn-around like the one we face, we have to explore other options for this contest and that is what we have done," said head coach Dean Ryan. "We have to try and get ourselves in the right areas of the field more consistently and reduce our error count to be as effective as we know we can be.
"We did some good things on Friday against Sale but probably in areas of the field that diluted their effectiveness.
"Any game at Kingsholm under lights is a fantastic occasion because it intensifies the atmosphere and makes it even more special. Although we are turning around quickly this is obviously a very significant game for us."
On the bench, Ryan will include hooker Azam and prop Young. Apo Satal - un-used against Sale - and Andy Hazell are the other forward options.
Rory Lawson, Willie Walker and Mark Foster are Gloucester's three-quarter replacements.
Tickets for tomorrow's game are still available from the ticket office at Kingsholm, the hotline number on 0871 871 8781 (option 2) or online at www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
GLOUCESTER (v Newcastle Falcons, tomorrow, Kingsholm, 7.45pm): Olly Morgan; James Simpson-Daniel, Matthew Watkins, Mike Tindall (capt), Iain Balshaw; Olly Barkley, Gareth Cooper; Nick Wood, Scott Lawson, Alasdair Dickinson, Marco Bortolami, Alex Brown, Peter Buxton, Alasdair Strokosch, Luke Narraway. Reps: Olivier Azam, David Young, Apo Satala, Andy Hazell, Rory Lawson, Willie Walker, Mark Foster.
Gloucester-Hartpury Women take on West Park Leeds Ladies in the final of the Intermediate Cup Final on Saturday. Head Coach Susie Appleby took time out to preview the game and chat about the future for the team.
Number eight Ben Morgan admitted that the 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol on Friday evening hadn't been pretty at times, but that the win was based on everyone in the squad remaining united and working for each other.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
In the aftermath of the Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell was able to look forward to this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues (Kingsholm, kick off 8:05pm).