JAMES SIMPSON-DANIEL will make his first appearance of the season tomorrow when he returns from a fractured collarbone to face Saracens at Kingsholm (5.45pm).
The England winger has been sidelined for the entire campaign so far after picking up the injury in a pre-season game against Llanelli and although head coach Dean Ryan is delighted to have 'Sinbad' available again, is warning not to expect too much from one of the game's brightest talents.
"We are not in a position to get carried away or expect immediate results simply because James is available for us again," Ryan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk.
"These are still early days for him in terms of his recovery because he has sustained a serious injury but at the same time I think everyone is aware of what a mesmerising talent he is and at this stage of the season, to have someone of his qualities making a return, is a big boost."
Simpson-Daniel, who made 16 Guinness Premiership appearances last season and scored six tries, replaces Iain Balshaw, who is on international duty. Mark Foster has still not recovered from a foot injury.
The return of Simpson-Daniel is Ryan's only significant bonus on the injury front. Flanker Jake Boer failed a fitness test on his injured calf which means the back row is altered again.
Adam Balding comes in at number eight and Luke Narraway switches to the openside. James Merriman was not considered for selection because of a groin injury.
In the front row, Nick Wood replaces Christian Califano and Adam Eustace comes into the second row alongside Marco Bortolami.
With Peter Richards, Anthony Allen and Balshaw all on international duty, the backline is also mixed around. Rory Lawson will make his first Premiership start at number nine and Rudi Keil replaces Allen in the centre.
And with Olly Morgan unfit after damaging his shoulder against Agen, Willie Walker returns in the full-back position.
Gloucester are also without James Forrester (knee), Andy Hazell (shoulder), Alex Brown (arm) and Mike Tindall (calf).
On the bench there are returns for Haydn Thomas, who has not featured this season because of a head injury, Rob Thirlby and lock Will James.
Gloucester are unbeaten in the Premiership so far this season but after two back-to-back European Cup defeats, Ryan knows there needs to be an improvement.
"The last two weeks have been reality checks for us in terms of the development of this squad," he said. "We were under no illusions about the difficulty of our European pool but in the Premiership we have made a solid start and aim to continue that.
"We need to ensure our intensity levels are right against a very well organised and powerful side."
GLOUCESTER (v Saracens, tomorrow, 5.45pm): Willie Walker; James Bailey, Jack Adams, Rudi Keil, James Simpson-Daniel; Ryan Lamb, Rory Lawson; Nick Wood, Mefin Davies, Carlos Nieto, Adam Eustace, Marco Bortolami (capt), Peter Buxton, Luke Narraway, Adam Balding. Reps: Patrice Collazo, Olivier Azam, Jonathan Pendlebury, Will James, Haydn Thomas, Ludovic Mercier, Rob Thirlby.
There are still tickets available for tomorrow's game on 0871 871 8781, online at www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk or from the ticket office that opens at 10am tomorrow.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.