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.
Named Man of the Match by BT Sport, scrum-half Willi Heinz said after the 15-11 win at Bath on Friday evening that it was a pretty happy Gloucester dressing room and reward for a lot of hard work put in during the week leading up to the game.
Speaking after the 15-11 win over Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, David Humphreys heaped praise on his players, pointing out how they had bounced back after last week's tough defeat to overcome a rough start before controlling the game and earning the win.
Gloucester Rugby hooker Richard Hibbard spoke to the local media this week as the Cherry and Whites prepare to face Bath Rugby in the Aviva Premiership. The Welshman is ready to bounce back at The Rec.
Speaking to the local media about the local derby against Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys acknowledged that it will be a tough encounter but hugely exciting at the same time and one the squad are looking forward to.
A visibly disappointed Billy Twelvetrees admitted that it was a very sombre Gloucester dressing room as a last minute try and conversion condemned the Cherry and Whites to an 18-19 defeat against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
A disappointed Tom Savage told GRTV, after the 18-19 defeat at home to the Leicester Tigers, that the whole Gloucester team had put in a fantastic effort, but just couldn't find the extra one or two percent necessary to put away a top side.
Speaking after the narrow loss to Leicester Tigers on Saturday afternoon, David Humphreys says despite there being a lot of good in Gloucester's performance, he rued the failure to close the game out, as well as thanking the home support
Kiwi second row Jeremy Thrush is thoroughly enjoying his time in Cherry and White so far, and this weekend the Leicester Tigers are the visitors to Kingsholm, and the All Black is massively excited about the challenge.
After two wins in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, securing a home quarter-final, David Humphreys told the local media this week that Gloucester are coming into Saturday's game in good physical shape having rotated the squad. However, he and the squad are prepared for a tough encounter against the Tigers.
The Early Bird deadline for ticket purchases for the Aviva Premiership fixture against Harlequins on Saturday will expire at 6:30pm on Thursday evening, with tickets already limited for one area of Kingsholm.