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 with the local media before the Gloucester team set off on the long trip north to Newcastle, Director of Rugby David Humphreys discussed his team selection and stated that Friday night's meeting will be a challenging one.
Speaking to the local media on Thursday, Matt Kvesic was looking forward to the trip to Newcastle Falcons, and the captain is looking to lead from the front with plenty for the Cherry and Whites to work on.
Gloucester saw a 12-0 lead overturned by Harlequins on Friday night as the visitors ran out 22-15 winners. After the game, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke about missed opportunities on the night.
Speaking to the local media on Thursday, James Hudson explained his excitement for tonight's game with Harlequins and that he is backing the Cherry and White squad to impress during the next set of Aviva Premiership games.
Gloucester Rugby welcomed back a set of returning internationals at the start of this week, and one of them, James Hook is pleased to be back, and ready to get back to business in a Cherry and White shirt.
After the huge success of the Darts evening in March, Gloucester Rugby and events sponsors Worthington's are pleased to present an evening with Darts Legends Eric Bristow, Keith Deller, Bobby George and Wayne Mardle hosted by Russ Bray on Tuesday 9 December.