AFTER confirming back-to-back pre-season games against Llanelli last week, Gloucester will also play Saracens at Kingsholm on Friday, August 11 at 7.30pm.
Gloucester are also planning another match at Kingsholm on Friday, August 18 but as yet, the opposition have not been confirmed.
The pre-season games are included in the season ticket package and the Llanelli fixtures, away on Saturday, August 19 and at home on Saturday, August 26 will be the key pre-season clashes as Gloucester warm up for the Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup.
Gloucester will also take a strong side to the Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham on Saturday, August 12 to defend their title.
Pre-season fixtures: Friday, August 11 v Saracens, Kingsholm (7.30pm), Saturday, August 12, Middlesex Sevens, Friday, August 18 TBC, Saturday, August 19 v Llanelli (a), Saturday, August 26 v Llanellie (h).
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.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
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).