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.
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.