RYAN LAMB will return to the Gloucester squad for the first time this season in tomorrow's crucial EDF Energy cup showdown with Bristol (3pm).
The 20-year-old stand-off will take his place on the bench after recovering from an ankle injury sustained in pre-season.
His return will be a significant boost to head coach Dean Ryan, who told http://www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk/ "We see this game as part of Ryan's rehabilitation and it is great to have him around the squad environment again.
"He is a young man and was never likely to feature in all the games in such a long season so we have been able to manage his recovery in the right way.
"We know he is an outstanding individual but it has been a long period of time since his last competitive game, so we will just monitor how he progresses and take each step as it comes."
Ryan has made six changes to the starting line-up that was defeated 49-19 in the opening encounter against the Ospreys last Friday.
Jon Goodridge gets a run at full-back in place of Olly Morgan, who does not feature because of a shoulder injury. Rudi Keil returns to the centre in place of Anthony Allen who moves to the bench and England prospect Peter Richards starts at scrum-half in place of Rory Lawson.
In the forwards Christian Califano comes in at tight-head, Peter Buxton, who will skipper the side, starts at blindside and Andy Hazell returns in the breakaway position at number seven.
James Forrester, who has been Guinness Premiership player of the month for September, is on the bench.
Adam Eustace and Will James will start in the second row and Luke Narraway gets another opportunity in the number eight position.
"We are constantly working towards new challenges and we need to try new combinations before we get back into the Premiership and enter Europe," Ryan added. "But this is a very experienced and strong side and I am looking forward to seeing it in action.
"There is absolutely no doubt we take this competition seriously and if we can get more players attuned to this environment that will be great."
GLOUCESTER v Bristol, tomorrow, EDF Energy Cup, 3pm: Jon Goodridge; James Bailey, Jack Adams, Rudi Keil, Mark Foster; Ludovic Mercier, Peter Richards; Patrice Collazo, Mefin Davies, Christian Califano, Will James, Adam Eustace, Peter Buxton (capt), Andy Hazell, Luke Narraway. Reps: Jack Forster, Olivier Azam, Jake Boer, James Forrester, Rory Lawson, Anthony Allen, Ryan Lamb.
Seating and standing tickets are available for tomorrow's match prices are as follow:
Gold: £34, Silver £28,Buildbase - Adult £24, Junior £12, Student £20 and Senior £20,Shed or Terrace - Adult £19, Junior £9, Student £15 and Senior £15, seating and standing tickets are available for tomorrows match prices are as follow:
Gold: £34, Silver £28,Buildbase - Adult £24, Junior £12, Student £20 and Senior £20,Shed or Terrace - Adult £19, Junior £9, Student £15 and Senior £15.
BBC Sport will show the Gloucester v Bristol EDF Energy clash via the interactive red button tomorrow. Coverage will be available from 2.55pm with a 3.00pm kick-off.
Gloucester-Hartpury Women take on West Park Leeds Ladies in the final of the Intermediate Cup Final on Saturday. Head Coach Susie Appleby took time out to preview the game and chat about the future for the team.
Number eight Ben Morgan admitted that the 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol on Friday evening hadn't been pretty at times, but that the win was based on everyone in the squad remaining united and working for each other.
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)
In the aftermath of the Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell was able to look forward to this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues (Kingsholm, kick off 8:05pm).