GLOUCESTER will welcome back a raft of internationals on Sunday when they make the trip to the Memorial Stadium to face Bristol (3pm).
England trio Lesley Vainikolo, Iain Balshaw and Luke Narraway will be joined by Scotland's Chris Paterson, Italy's Marco Bortolami and Carlos Nieto and Gareth Delve of Wales in a much-changed line-up named by head coach Dean Ryan.
The changes will see a significant shift in Ryan's starting line-up following their 20-13 defeat to Leicester last weekend.
Paterson will return at stand-off to replace Willie Walker and will make his fourth start of the season at number 10. Ryan Lamb is ruled out with a shoulder injury. He will partner Gareth Cooper at half-back, who makes his first Premiership start since Gloucester's 20-13 victory away to Newcastle before Christmas.
The centre partnership of Anthony Allen and Jack Adams remains the same as the one that faced Leicester, while James Simpson-Daniel will be partnered by Vainikolo - who will make his first start since the victory over Ulster in January - and full-back Iain Balshaw, who comes in for James Bailey in the back three.
Up front, there are also considerable changes. Nick Wood is the only remaining member of the front row that start against Leicester as Carlos Nieto returns at tight-head and is joined at hooker by Jeremy Paul, who will make his first Guinness Premiership start.
At lock, Marco Bortolami returns from the fractured eye socket sustained against Ulster and will partner Will James. Peter Buxton, who has featured in 16 games this season, moves to the bench.
Narraway, who has won his first two England caps against Wales and Italy, comes in at number six in place of Alasdair Strokosch, Andy Hazell retains the number seven shirt and Gareth Delve returns at number eight.
"Although we lost against Leicester last weekend we saw a clear image of what we want to be as a side," Ryan said. "We can take a lot of positives from that performance and obviously this week the group has returned to something like full strength so we want to see a continuation of that process.
"Losing a game like last weekend is not a huge concern simply because of what we got out of it and how we can progress it long-term. We are beginning a period of some crucial matches and that continues on Sunday against Bristol.
"We know they are an outstanding side at the nuts and bolts of the game and when that functions they are capable of taking a team apart - you only have to look at what happened to Stade Francais in the Heineken Cup to appreciate their threat.
"It is our job to get our game right and if that unfolds in the right way I am confident we have the ability to match anybody. These games are special - they are special for the supporters and special for the players and it is something we are looking forward to."
On the bench, scrum-half Rory Lawson will be joined by utility back Willie Walker and wing Mark Foster.
The forwards are made up of hooker Andy Titterrell as Olivier Azam is given a rest, prop Alasdair Dickinson, Buxton and Strokosch.
GLOUCESTER (v Bristol, Sunday, 3pm): Iain Balshaw; James Simpson-Daniel, Jack Adams, Anthony Allen, Lesley Vainikolo; Chris Paterson, Gareth Cooper; Nick Wood, Jeremy Paul, Carlos Nieto, Marco Bortolami (capt), Will James, Luke Narraway, Andy Hazell, Gareth Delve. Reps: Andy Titterrell, Alasdair Dickinson, Peter Buxton, Alasdair Strokosch, Rory Lawson, Willie Walker, Mark Foster.
As Gloucester prepare for their 39th game of the season, against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday, David Humphreys told the local media that this week has been all about getting the players mentally and physically ready after a tough game against Connacht last Sunday.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-32 victory over Connacht on Sunday, skipper Billy Twelvetrees explained that Gloucester had had to learn to be patient and cut out the errors to earn the win and progress to next weekend's final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
Following the recent announcement that XBlades were to become the club's new kit and leisurewear partner, Gloucester Rugby can today (Tuesday 30 June) confirm the opening of a new retail unit, based at Gloucester Quays Outlet Centre, as well as the launch of a brand new online shop.
When the Gloucester Rugby squad and staff report for their first day of preseason training on Wednesday morning, they will be greeted with a new look training kit from XBlades Sports ready for the first sessions.