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 GRTV after the 40-29 Aviva A League win over Wasps Rugby, Academy Coach Rich Whiffin explained his pride in the squad to overcome a strong opponent and book their spot in next week's Aviva A League final.
Willi Heinz returned from injury to skipper Gloucester to a famous 16-14 win over Stade Rochelais on Saturday evening. Speaking after the game in France, Heinz admitted the win wasn't pretty but was full of courage and a great result for the club.
Billy Burns contributed all Gloucester's points in the 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening, but dedicated the victory to the whole squad whilst also praising the travelling support.
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Speaking to GRTV after Saturday's 39-30 Aviva Premiership win over Sale, Mark Atkinson admitted that the performance wasn't perfect but that the team's character shone through in a game that could easily have slipped away.
Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw is targeting a 'unique' finish to his Gloucester tenure in the European Rugby Challenge Cup final at the venue where his professional playing career began, BT Murrayfield Stadium (Friday 12 May).
Gloucester's young United side once again dug deep to take an illustrious scalp, overturning a half-time deficit to earn a 40-29 victory over Wasps and earn a place in the Aviva Premiership A League final.