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.
Speaking after the 37-8 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Benetton Treviso, James Hook admitted that the Italian side made things tough for Gloucester at times but that the Cherry and Whites are happy to take the bonus point win and turn their focus to Northampton next week.
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.