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, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).