Olly Barkley will make his Gloucester debut tomorrow.
OLLY BARKLEY will make his Gloucester debut tomorrow when his new club face Guinness Premiership leaders Harlequins at Kingsholm (3pm).
The former Bath star will wear the number 12 jersey for the first time in Gloucester colours after recovering from a fractured bone in his left wrist - an injury he picked up on England's summer tour to New Zealand.
Barkley will form a midfield partnership with skipper Mike Tindall, who shifts back to the outside centre position and means Matthew Watkins moves to the wing in place of James Simpson-Daniel, who is rested.
"This is has been a long time coming and I am really excited about the opportunity," Barkley said. "My rehabilitation has gone really well and now I just want to concentrate on contributing for my new club.
"Harlequins have made an excellent start to the season and we obviously appreciate their threat but after last week's performance and result we are confident we can re-create that again and built on it this weekend.
"I am just delighted to be involved in the side - it has been a long time coming."
Barkley joined Gloucester from Bath in February on a two-year contract and means Willie Walker continues at stand-off and Gareth Cooper at scrum-half.
Watkins' shift to the wing is the only change to the back three that also includes Lesley Vainikolo and full-back Olly Morgan.
Head coach Dean Ryan has made only one change to the forward pack that started at the Rec.
Alasdair Strokosch comes in at number six and Peter Buxton moves to the bench. Strokosch's other start - against Leicester on the opening weekend of the season - was on the openside flank.
However, Andy Hazell retains his number seven shirt and Luke Narraway, a try scorer in Gloucester's 21-17 win last Saturday, continues at number eight. Will James starts his third successive game at lock and will partner Alex Brown.
The front row of Nick Wood, Olivier Azam and Carlos Nieto also remain intact.
"Harlequins have been playing at a high tempo and have won well twice," said Gloucester's head coach Dean Ryan. "They are attack minded and are very dangerous when play breaks up - but I think we have taken on our game following the defeat against Leicester and have looked at things pretty objectively.
"We are a pretty free-flowing side but you can be challenged by playing too much rugby and we have to manage that. Last Saturday against Bath was much more of an illustration of what we have been working on.
"There will be consistency in selection in some areas but there will also be changes where we believe they are appropriate."
On the bench, Andy Titterrell is partnered by prop Alasdair Dickinson - who comes on in place of Dave Young - Marco Bortolami and Peter Buxton.
The three-quarter replacements are the same as last Saturday - scrum-half Rory Lawson, stand-off Ryan Lamb and winger Mark Foster.
There are still tickets available for tomorrow's game and they can be purchased from the ticket office hotline on 0871 871 8781 (option 2) online at www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk or from the ticket office on the day of the game.
GLOUCESTER (v Harlequins, tomorrow, 3pm): Olly Morgan; Matthew Watkins, Mike Tindall (capt), Olly Barkley, Lesley Vainikolo; Willie Walker, Gareth Cooper; Nick Wood, Olivier Azam, Carlos Nieto, Will James, Alex Brown, Alasdair Strokosch, Andy Hazell, Luke Narraway. Reps: Andy Titterrell, Alasdair Dickinson, Marco Bortolami, Peter Buxton, Rory Lawson, Ryan Lamb, Mark Foster.
Named Man of the Match by BT Sport, scrum-half Willi Heinz said after the 15-11 win at Bath on Friday evening that it was a pretty happy Gloucester dressing room and reward for a lot of hard work put in during the week leading up to the game.
Speaking after the 15-11 win over Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, David Humphreys heaped praise on his players, pointing out how they had bounced back after last week's tough defeat to overcome a rough start before controlling the game and earning the win.
Gloucester Rugby hooker Richard Hibbard spoke to the local media this week as the Cherry and Whites prepare to face Bath Rugby in the Aviva Premiership. The Welshman is ready to bounce back at The Rec.
Speaking to the local media about the local derby against Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys acknowledged that it will be a tough encounter but hugely exciting at the same time and one the squad are looking forward to.
A visibly disappointed Billy Twelvetrees admitted that it was a very sombre Gloucester dressing room as a last minute try and conversion condemned the Cherry and Whites to an 18-19 defeat against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
A disappointed Tom Savage told GRTV, after the 18-19 defeat at home to the Leicester Tigers, that the whole Gloucester team had put in a fantastic effort, but just couldn't find the extra one or two percent necessary to put away a top side.
Speaking after the narrow loss to Leicester Tigers on Saturday afternoon, David Humphreys says despite there being a lot of good in Gloucester's performance, he rued the failure to close the game out, as well as thanking the home support
Kiwi second row Jeremy Thrush is thoroughly enjoying his time in Cherry and White so far, and this weekend the Leicester Tigers are the visitors to Kingsholm, and the All Black is massively excited about the challenge.
After two wins in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, securing a home quarter-final, David Humphreys told the local media this week that Gloucester are coming into Saturday's game in good physical shape having rotated the squad. However, he and the squad are prepared for a tough encounter against the Tigers.
It's almost four years since Gloucester won a Premiership game at the Rec against Bath. However, they got that monkey off their back on Friday evening with a hard-fought 15-11 win in testing conditions.