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.
Tom Savage delivered a Man of the Match performance against Exeter Chiefs on his birthday on Saturday evening. He spoke to GRTV after the game about the importance of the European Rugby Challenge Cup win.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
The Gloucester Rugby Ticket office can advise that the club's initial allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final has sold out. However, the club has secured an additional allocation of tickets from EPCR which will go on sale on Monday.
Following Saturday evening's exciting European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs, the Ticket Office at Kingsholm will be open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm for Club Members to purchase tickets for the Final.
Gloucester Rugby qualified for their first European final since 2006 as they defeated the in-form Exeter Chiefs by 30 points to 19 in a thrilling semi-final at Kingsholm on Saturday evening. The club photographer caught the best of the action.
Recent meetings between these two teams have often been thrillers, and this was no exception. It went down to the final few minutes, but Gloucester produced the goods when it mattered to qualify for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, beating Exeter 30-19.