GLOUCESTER will welcome back flanker Peter Buxton and prop Carlos Nieto for tomorrow's west country derby against Bath at the Rec (8pm).
Buxton will return to the blindside flank in place of Alasdair Strokosch and Nieto comes in at tight-head in two changes in Dean Ryan's forward pack as Gloucester go on the hunt for their first ever away win on the banks of the Avon.
Strokosch, who was named as the Guinness Premiership's player of the month for December, moves to the bench to accommodate Buxton, while Patrice Collazo comes into the squad in place of Christian Califano.
There are still no places for Gareth Delve (knee), Iain Balshaw (gashed knee) and Andy Titterrell (shoulder) as Gloucester prepare for their second successive local derby following their 27-0 win over Bristol last Saturday.
"We have given ourselves a great start in the Premiership and in Europe and over the next six or seven games we have to consolidate that," Ryan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
"There is a deep understanding of what we want to achieve in the long-term and we are beginning to see the results of keeping the group together and a development process that is another 12 months further along.
"Both teams are in good form and at the top of the league. We appreciate the significance of this game but we have a series of important matches over the next month."
Nick Wood and Olivier Azam will pack down alongside Nieto in the front row, Marco Bortolami and Alex Brown will be the second row combination, while Buxton, Akapusi Qera and Luke Narraway form the back row.
Gloucester's backline also remains the same which means Rory Lawson starts at number nine and will partner Ryan Lamb at half-back.
Mike Tindall has recovered from a calf injury that forced him off in the 12th minute last Saturday and will be alongside Anthony Allen against his former club.
Because of Balshaw's knee injury, Willie Walker retains the number 15 shirt and will be partnered by wingers James Simpson-Daniel and Lesley Vainikolo, who is the Premiership's leading scorer with seven tries.
On the bench, Jeremy Paul retains his place because of Titterrell's injury, Collazo comes into the squad and will be joined by Will James and Strokosch.
Mike Prendergast, Chris Paterson and Leon Lloyd, who scored twice against Bristol, are the three-quarter options.
GLOUCESTER (v Bath, tomorrow 8pm): Willie Walker; James Simpson-Daniel, Mike Tindall, Anthony Allen, Lesley Vainikolo; Ryan Lamb, Rory Lawson; Nick Wood, Olivier Azam, Carlos Nieto, Marco Bortolami (capt), Alex Brown, Peter Buxton, Akapusi Qera, Luke Narraway. Reps: Jeremy Paul, Patrice Collazo, Will James, Alasdair Strokosch, Mike Prendergast, Chris Paterson, Leon Lloyd.
THE game will be shown live in the Star Suite at Kingsholm tomorrow night from 7pm.
Speaking to the local media this week, front rower John Afoa is familiar with the challenge of Connacht from his time in Belfast, and the World Cup winner is fully aware of the challenge they pose ahead of Sunday's meeting in the Champions Cup play off
Speaking ahead of Gloucester's European Rugby Champions play-off against Connacht on Sunday (Kingsholm, 3:30pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's glad to have more players available than in recent weeks ahead of a tough fixture.
Nick Wood captained the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, and the experienced front rower expressed his pride in the young squad in defeat to Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Lewis Ludlow scored Gloucester's opening try in the 30-50 defeat at Bath on Saturday, part of an impressive performance by the young back row forward. Speaking after the game, he paid tribute to the young Gloucester side who went toe to toe with the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Speaking to the local media after the game, Director of Rugby David Humphreys gave an honest assessment of the game, and expressed his pride in the way his young charges had performed against the title-chasing hosts.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby scrum half Callum Braley is excited by the challenge of the West Country Derby, and the ex-Bristol man reveals the squad will be giving their all.
Speaking to the local media this week, David Humphreys admitted that team selection for Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at Bath has not been an easy one, with numerous players ruled out due to injury and suspension. However, he pledged that whoever is wearing the Cherry and White will be 100% committed to fighting until the very last minute.
Speaking to GRTV after the 35-13 Aviva Premiership victory over London Irish, Tom Savage praised his team mates for sticking to their game plan and showing real character to clinch an impressive win despite only playing with 14 men for nearly an hour.
With Connacht Rugby the visitors to Kingsholm on Sunday (kick off 3:30pm) for Sunday's European Rugby Champions Cup play-off, Gloucester ring the changes from the side that took the field against Bath last weekend.
Matt Kvesic was a double winner at the Gloucester Rugby End of Season Awards Dinner on Tuesday, coupled with being named in the England Rugby training squad and the 23-year old is delighted with how his campaign has gone.
Gloucester Rugby held their End of Season Dinner at the Centaur at Cheltenham Racecourse this week. Amongst all the awards, Thinus Delport interviewed James Hook, Laurie Fisher, Charlie Sharples and Billy Twelvetrees.