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.
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.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.
After a tense opening half hour in Parma, the game turned just before half time as the home team had David Odiete red carded and Gloucester took full advantage, running in three second half tries to secure the bonus point and the victory over Zebre by 32 points to 16.