TERRY FANOLUA and Rudi Keil will line-up in the centre for Gloucester tonight in their Guinness A League encounter against London Irish (7.30pm).
The powerful pair will be key figures in a Gloucester side who are hunting top place in the southern conference of the A League competition.
They will be joined by first team squad members James Parkes at hooker, locks Mark Cornwell and Quinton Davids, Brad Davies, Marcel Garvey and Rob Thirlby in an exciting line-up.
Gloucester need to win to keep the pressure on leaders Harlequins and Fanolua and Keil will be figure heads of the side.
Last week, Gloucester beat Bristol 18-14 away to keep their title dreams alive and they will hope for another big crowd to get behind them tonight.
Emry Lewis and Alex Walker will join Parkes in the front row, while Hartpury College student Tom Rawlins will start in the back. Scrum-half James Donovan, who has impressed in his last two appearances, will start at scrum-half.
The replacement bench has yet to be finalised. Season ticket holders can gain free entry to the match and the 'kid a quid' scheme will again be operating for children under the age of 16.
GLOUCESTER v London Irish, Kingsholm, tonight 7.30pm: R. Thirlby; M. Nuttall, R. Keil, T. Fanolua, M. Garvey; B. Davies, J. Donovan; E. Lewis, J. Parkes, A. Walker, Q. Davids, M. Cornwell (capt), C. Jones, T. Rawlins, L. Halavatau. Reps to be named.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Exeter Chiefs, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reiterated that there are elements of Gloucester's game that are in good shape at present, that the performance against Bath was a step forward from Newcastle but that individual errors are costing the Cherry and Whites dear.
Centre Matt Scott, a try-scorer in Bayonne last weekend, insists that Gloucester are taking nothing for granted when they welcome Benetton Treviso to Kingsholm on Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm).