DEAN RYAN has made five changes - two forced by injury - to his Gloucester line-up for their Guinness Premiership clash against Saracens tomorrow (12.35pm).
Akapusi Qera will return on the openside flank in place of Andy Hazell, Alasdair Strokosch replaces Peter Buxton at number six and Iain Balshaw returns to the wing in place of Chris Paterson - none of the trio featured last weekend.
Both Olly Morgan and Anthony Allen are out through injury - Morgan has a hamstring strain and Allen a shoulder injury following Gloucester's defeat against Munster. Willie Walker will replace Morgan at full-back and Mike Tindall comes in for Allen in the centre.
Both Qera and Balshaw have recovered from head injuries sustained against Worcester a fortnight ago to take their places for the Guinness Premiership leaders.
The rest of Ryan's line-up remains the same as the one that lost to Munster 16-3 in the Heineken Cup quarter-final last weekend.
"We did not have four or five weeks of playing well going into the Munster game, but given the disruption, we played really well. The key now is to take that forward," Ryan said.
"The side we want to be was there against Munster in a lot of ways but we need to replicate that in the rest of our games to be competitive towards the end of the Premiership season.
"We have to learn from last weekend and learn from last year's experiences. If we can do both those things, and maximise our opportunities, we've got a chance of being really competitive in the knockout stages of the competition.
"I believe very strongly we are getting better and maturing. Nobody wanted to experience last weekend but we have to get better from it and understand and appreciate the lessons, take that forward into tomorrow and be competitive.
"Saracens are in some great form - their victory over the Ospreys was tremendous - and they have just come off the back of scoring 10 tries against Leeds. They will be confident but it is our job to go out and produce a performance."
Gloucester's front row of Nick Wood, Andy Titterrell and Carlos Nieto will pack down for the third successive match. It will be Wood's 11th successive start in all competitions and it will be Titterrell's fifth in a row.
At lock, Marco Bortolami will skipper the side alongside Alex Brown. Strokosch comes in at six, while Qera will make his 18th appearances in all competitions this season and he has four tries to his name. Completing the back row is number eight Luke Narraway.
Scrum-half Rory Lawson, a try scorer in Gloucester's 17-14 defeat against Worcester, will partner Ryan Lamb at half-back and it will be Lamb's third game back from shoulder damage.
In the centre, Mike Tindall will make his first start in Gloucester colours since their 18-17 win over London Wasps in January after returning from liver damage last weekend following his injury on England duty in the Six Nations Championship.
He will partner James Simpson-Daniel in midfield. Simpson-Daniel is Gloucester's leading try scorer this season with 11 in 23 games and it will be his third successive game in the number 13 shirt.
There are also changes in the back three. Balshaw comes in on the wing in place of Chris Paterson, who moves to the bench. Walker will make his first start at full-back since Gloucester's 28-20 win over Newcastle in February. Lesley Vainikolo, a try-scorer against Worcester, will complete the back three.
On the bench, there are returns for hooker Olivier Azam and prop Jack Forster. Number eight Gareth Delve and lock Will James complete the forward options.
Paterson, scrum-half Gareth Cooper and centre Jack Adams are the three-quarter replacements. Adams has not featured since breaking his nose against Irish at the start of March.
GLOUCESTER (v Saracens, tomorrow, 12.35pm): Willie Walker; Iain Balshaw, James Simpson-Daniel, Mike Tindall, Lesley Vainikolo; Ryan Lamb, Rory Lawson; Nick Wood, Andy Titterrell, Carlos Nieto, Marco Bortolami (capt), Alex Brown, Alasdair Strokosch, Akapusi Qera, Luke Narraway. Reps: Olivier Azam, Jack Forster, Gareth Delve, Will James, Gareth Cooper, Chris Paterson, Jack Adams.
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).