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.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Exeter Chiefs, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reiterated that there are elements of Gloucester's game that are in good shape at present, that the performance against Bath was a step forward from Newcastle but that individual errors are costing the Cherry and Whites dear.
Lesley Vainikolo was a welcome visitor to Kingsholm this week, reminiscing as he wandered around the stadium. The big winger is back in Gloucester to take part in Sunday's Mitsubishi Motors UK Hybrid Cup (kick off 3pm).
Centre Matt Scott, a try-scorer in Bayonne last weekend, insists that Gloucester are taking nothing for granted when they welcome Benetton Treviso to Kingsholm on Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm).