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.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
Speaking to the local media after the 35-22 loss at Wasps, lock Tom Savage spoke of his disappointment at the result, with Gloucester left to rue a number of missed opportunities against a clinical home side.
Speaking after his return from England duty, Gloucester winger Jonny May reflected on England winning the Six Nations Championship, if not the Grand Slam, and what he needs to focus on to get back into the starting line-up.