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.
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.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.