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.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
Speaking to the local media this week, front rower John Afoa is familiar with the challenge of Connacht from his time in Belfast, and the World Cup winner is fully aware of the challenge they pose ahead of Sunday's meeting in the Champions Cup play off
Speaking ahead of Gloucester's European Rugby Champions play-off against Connacht on Sunday (Kingsholm, 3:30pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's glad to have more players available than in recent weeks ahead of a tough fixture.
Nick Wood captained the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, and the experienced front rower expressed his pride in the young squad in defeat to Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Lewis Ludlow scored Gloucester's opening try in the 30-50 defeat at Bath on Saturday, part of an impressive performance by the young back row forward. Speaking after the game, he paid tribute to the young Gloucester side who went toe to toe with the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Speaking to the local media after the game, Director of Rugby David Humphreys gave an honest assessment of the game, and expressed his pride in the way his young charges had performed against the title-chasing hosts.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby scrum half Callum Braley is excited by the challenge of the West Country Derby, and the ex-Bristol man reveals the squad will be giving their all.
Gloucester Rugby is delighted to confirm that 18 year old Mat Protheroe, a product of Hartpury College and one of the brightest young talents in the English game, has signed a senior contract at Kingsholm.
At the recent London Irish game, personnel from the Imjin Barracks in Innsworth, including Gurkhas, were present, holding a collection to raise funds for ShelterBox to aid relief from the recent Nepal Earthquake Appeal.