GLOUCESTER'S head coach Dean Ryan has made five changes from the side that beat Edinburgh in the Heineken Cup last Sunday for tomorrow night's Guinness Premiership encounter against Newcastle.
The Kingsholm club can return to the top of the Premiership with victory over the Falcons and Ryan has virtually a full strength squad to select from - and welcomes back both number eight James Forrester and hooker Mefin Davies and both will sit on the bench.
Forrester has been out of action since the end of October following surgery on a knee problem, while Davies suffered a calf injury against Saracens in November.
There are two changes to the front row, where Patrice Collazo will return from a one-game suspension at loose-head and Christian Califano comes in for Carlos Nieto, who drops to the bench.
In the second row, Adam Eustace comes in for Marco Bortolami, who also moves to the bench and he will partner Alex Brown.
The rest of the pack remains unchanged which means Peter Buxton is at number six, Andy Hazell at openside and Luke Narraway, who scored last Sunday, at number eight.
In the backs the only changes are at half-back. Pete Richards will start at scrum-half and Willie Walker will get a run at stand-off in place of Ryan Lamb.
"We have got a very strong squad to select from at a very important stage of the season and that is very pleasing. To have guys like James Forrester and Mefin Davies available after injury is pleasing and we also have the option to look and new combinations.
"Newcastle have already beaten Sale away and leaders Bristol so we are expecting a very tough examination on the back of two very difficult European games."
Anthony Allen and Mike Tindall form the centre combination, while James Simpson-Daniel, Mark Foster and Iain Balshaw complete the back three.
GLOUCESTER (v Newcastle, tomorrow, 7.30pm): Iain Balshaw; James Simpson-Daniel, Mike Tindall, Anthony Allen, Mark Foster; Willie Walker, Pete Richards; Patrice Collazo, Olivier Azam, Christian Califano, Adam Eustace, Alex Brown, Peter Buxton (capt), Andy Hazell, Luke Narraway. Reps: Mefin Davies, Carlos Nieto, Marco Bortolami, James Forrester, Rory Lawson, Ryan Lamb, Olly Morgan.
Speaking to the local media, Bill Meakes this week explained how he was relishing the challenge against Harlequins at Kingsholm, and that he is enjoying the opportunity to develop his game time, and repaying the faith from the Cherry and White coaches
Gloucester look to build upon the local derby win over Bath last weekend with Harlequins the visitors to Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 3pm). Director of Rugby David Humphreys is expecting a close game with the two teams well matched, although it may not be a 78 point thriller like the last time the two teams met.
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.
After a disappointing opening weekend loss to their Scottish counterparts, England U20s will be eager to bounce back in Italy this evening, with Gloucester flyer Mat Protheroe set to pull the strings from fly half.
Gloucester Rugby make just the one change to the starting line up that won at Bath last Friday evening, flanker Matt Kvesic restored to the starting XV as the Cherry and Whites welcome Harlequins to Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick off 3pm).
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.