JACK FORSTER will make his first start in the Guinness Premiership tomorrow when Gloucester face west country rivals Bristol at Kingsholm (3pm).
The 19-year-old has been included in the front row by head coach Dean Ryan following a hugely impressive cameo performance against Northampton a fortnight ago and injuries to senior tighthead props Phil Vickery and Gary Powell.
Forster, who hails from Wigan and is currently studying an agricultural degree at Hartpury College, has only two previous Premiership appearances to his name and will form a completely new front row from the one that start at Franklin's Gardens.
Both hooker Mefin Davies and loosehead prop Patrice Collazo return to Gloucester's forward pack, while James Forrester is also re-instated at number eight following a wrist injury.
Jonathan Pendlebury will partner Alex Brown at lock, while Peter Buxton will skipper the side from the blindside position.
But Forster is relishing his chance to further his development tomorrow: "So far, the Premiership has been a great experience for me and I have loved the opportunity," he told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk.
"It was great to have made an impact at Northampton and now I just want to try and carry that forward. This is a totally new level for me and I am just thrilled to be involved with the first team.
"I want the other players around me to have confidence in me and hopefully I can carry that Northampton form forward."
Head coach Dean Ryan, who is also able to welcome back England duo Mike Tindall and James Simpson-Daniel, added: "We have recognised that Jack is a considerable talent but we have to be careful how we manage that.
"He has handled himself very well and is someone who has a big future in the game. He made a very defined impact against Northampton and that is why he is included tomorrow."
Tindall has shaken off a back problem and Simpson-Daniel has recovered from flu to face Bristol but Peter Richards is ruled out with a dead leg.
It means Haydn Thomas will partner Ludovic Mercier in the half-back position and will make his first start since fracturing his clavicle against Bayonne back in January.
"We have some injuries still knocking around the squad but we all recognise how significant this game is," Ryan added. "Our aim is the top four and we need to try an maximise home advantage."
There are still tickets remaining for tomorrow's encounter and they are available online at www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk from the hotline number on 0871 871 8781 and the ticket office is open from 10am on Saturday.
GLOUCESTER (v Bristol, tomorrow, Kingsholm 3pm): Jon Goodridge; James Bailey, James Simpson-Daniel, Mike Tindall, Mark Foster; Ludovic Mercier, Haydn Thomas, Patrice Collazo, Mefin Davies, Jack Forster, Jonathan Pendlebury, Alex Brown, Peter Buxton (capt), Andy Hazell, James Forrester. Reps: Rob Elloway, Terry Sigley, Adam Eustace, Luke Narraway, Ryan Lamb, Brad Davies, Anthony Allen.
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
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.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).