GLOUCESTER have recalled Mike Tindall to their squad for tomorrow's sell-out Heineken Cup quarter-final showdown against Munster at Kingsholm (5.30pm).
Head coach Dean Ryan confirmed today that the England centre will feature as a replacement when the Kingsholm club contest their third quarter-final and first against Munster.
Tindall has not played since seriously damaging his liver against Wales in the first round of the Six Nations in February.
"The situation was pretty new for everybody," said head coach Ryan on Tindall's situation. "We didn't want to take a risk with Mike for the sake of one game and we left the decision pretty much to him. Needless to say, to have a player of his experience and understanding available for a game of this magnitude is huge for us.
"He has done everything that he needs to do - he will bring a level of expertise that are key in these games."
The majority of Ryan's line-up remains intact from the one that lost 17-14 to Worcester last weekend but there are also significant alterations.
Chris Paterson comes in on the wing in place of the injured Iain Balshaw, Peter Buxton returns to the blindside flank and Andy Hazell comes in for Akapusi Qera, who is also ruled out through injury.
Buxton has been an ever present in Gloucester's Heineken Cup campaign so far this season and replaces Alasdair Strokosch. Because of injury, this will be Hazell's first Heineken Cup appearance of the season and he will complete a back row alongside number eight Luke Narraway.
The rest of the forward pack remains unchanged. Nick Wood, Andy Titterrell and Carlos Nieto form the front row, while skipper Marco Bortolami and Alex Brown are the second rows.
"I say this regularly but this is a side picked purely on the challenges we face this weekend," Ryan said. "The Heineken Cup is capable of doing unique things to individuals and we are up against a side who have a special relationship with this competition and we want to get to the levels they have attained in the past.
"For us, home advantage gives us a little bit more of a lift - it gives us more confidence and maybe could be the margin that works for us on the day.
"It is up to us to go out and put a performance together we can be proud of and if we can do that then we can definitely be a threat, of that I have no doubt.
"We want to be moving and if we can do that I am sure we can challenge Munster."
The only change in the backs is the involvement of Paterson and he will make his 15 appearance of the season in all competitions. Rory Lawson and Ryan Lamb will partner each other at half-back, while Anthony Allen - who will make his 27th appearance of the season in all competitions and already has two tries in the Heineken Cup this season - and will line-up alongside James Simpson-Daniel in the centre.
Olly Morgan will wear the number 15 shirt and complete a back three alongside Lesley Vainikolo - who scored his eighth Guinness Premiership try last weekend - and Paterson.
"The balance of the side is good and we are ready," Ryan said. "There has been so much interest and such a build up that we just want to get to the game now."
On the bench, hooker Jeremy Paul will partner Alasdair Dickinson as Gloucester's front row options. Will James and Gareth Delve will complete the four forwards, while scrum-half Gareth Cooper, Willie Walker and Tindall are the three-quarter replacements.
GLOUCESTER (v Munster, tomorrow, 5.30pm): Olly Morgan; Chris Paterson, James Simpson-Daniel, Anthony Allen, Lesley Vainikolo; Ryan Lamb, Rory Lawson; Nick Wood, Andy Titterrell, Carlos Nieto, Marco Bortolami (capt), Alex Brown, Peter Buxton, Andy Hazell, Luke Narraway. Reps: Jeremy Paul, Alasdair Dickinson, Will James, Gareth Delve, Gareth Cooper, Willie Walker, Mike Tindall.
Speaking to the local media this week, back row flanker Jacob Rowan said that he is excited for the challenge at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday, and added that the players know the responsibility is theirs to deliver against the league leaders.
Ben Morgan was on media duty this week, and as Gloucester prepare for Sunday's trip to Wasps, the number eight is looking forward to see Gloucester go toe-to-toe with another of the Aviva Premiership's front runners.
Tom Marshall scored his first Gloucester try in the 31-23 win over Saracens on Friday evening and was named Man of the Match. Talking to GRTV, he praised the forwards for setting the tone on the night.
Matt Scott was on media duty this week, and the Scottish international spoke about the benefit of having a full week of training with his club mates and the determination to get back to performing well against Saracens this Friday evening.
Last Friday night saw Gloucester Rugby Head of Community Adam Balding present a cheque for £7082.82 to the Royal British Legion as a result of a series of fundraising during the Remembrance Period in November.
Gloucester battled bravely against Wasps on Sunday, but it was a case of taking chances at the Ricoh Arena. Gloucester didn't make the most of theirs while Wasps did, and that proved to be the difference.
Gloucester were competitive for long periods at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday afternoon, but were left to rue a host of missed scoring opportunities throughout as Wasps hit back to earn a 35-22 Aviva Premiership win.
Gloucester's Ciaran Knight made his first start at tighthead prop, Henry Walker made his first appearance as a second half replacement and Alex Seville also featured as England U20s might it three from three in the U20s Six Nations with a 46-0 win over Italy in Darlington on Friday night.