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.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
After a series of contract announcements last week, hooker Richard Hibbard is the latest Gloucester Rugby player to commit to a new contract at the club and told GRTV how much he enjoys playing in the Cherry and White of Gloucester.
A try scorer in the 36-18 Aviva Premiership win over Wasps at Kingsholm on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted that Gloucester would enjoy the moment but can't get too carried away. The team got what they deserved but the winger wants these performances to be more frequent.
England Head Coach Eddie Jones has made two changes to his side to play Australia in Saturday's final match of the Old Mutual Wealth Series at Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 2.30pm, live on Sky Sports 2). Jonny May lines up on the left wing.