OLIVIER AZAM, Gloucester's French hooker, is in contention to make a return to the squad for their Guinness Premiership trip to Leeds Tykes on Sunday.
Azam has been out of action since the second week of October because of an injury to his left shoulder that eventually required surgery - the second almost identical injury to afflict the former French international after he damaged his right shoulder last season.
But he has resumed full contact training and could feature in the squad for Gloucester's penultimate Guinness Premiership match of the season.
"Olivier has been plagued by injuries to both shoulders for almost two seasons now but he has resumed full training and could be in contention for this weekend," head coach Dean Ryan confirmed to www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
"He is someone who provides a great deal of energy and power and is supremely competitive. At certain times this season we have missed what he brings us but to have him available for our last two Premiership matches is a significant boost.
"At this stage he is obviously short of game-time but he is the sort of guy we want around the squad and we will make a decision on him later this week."
Azam has made four Premiership appearances this season and scored in Gloucester's victory over Sale Sharks back in September.
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.