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.
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.