GLOUCESTER have been dealt two major blows ahead of tonight's Guinness Premiership match against Bath at the Rec.
Both wingers - James Simpson-Daniel and Lesley Vainikolo - have been ruled out of the match and are replaced by James Bailey and Leon Lloyd.
Although he has trained this week, Simpson-Daniel has been struck down with a serious case of the flu. Vainikolo, who is the Premiership's leading scorer with seven, is flying home to New Zealand immediately to deal with a serious family problem.
"James reported this morning that he was really not very well at all and last night we were informed of a serious family problem in New Zealand that Lesley needed to attend urgently," said head coach Dean Ryan.
"Naturally, our thoughts are with him, we will give him as much time as he needs and support him on his return. Until that happens, we will be making no further comment."
Bailey has started three Premiership matches this season - against Leicester, Sale and London Irish.
Lloyd has scored five tries this season and has made eight appearances in all competitions. His place on the bench is now taken by Mark Foster, who has appeared in three EDF Energy Cup matches this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-29 Aviva A League win over Wasps Rugby, Academy Coach Rich Whiffin explained his pride in the squad to overcome a strong opponent and book their spot in next week's Aviva A League final.
Willi Heinz returned from injury to skipper Gloucester to a famous 16-14 win over Stade Rochelais on Saturday evening. Speaking after the game in France, Heinz admitted the win wasn't pretty but was full of courage and a great result for the club.
Billy Burns contributed all Gloucester's points in the 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening, but dedicated the victory to the whole squad whilst also praising the travelling support.
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Speaking to GRTV after Saturday's 39-30 Aviva Premiership win over Sale, Mark Atkinson admitted that the performance wasn't perfect but that the team's character shone through in a game that could easily have slipped away.