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 to the local media this week, back row flanker Jacob Rowan said that he is excited for the challenge at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday, and added that the players know the responsibility is theirs to deliver against the league leaders.
Ben Morgan was on media duty this week, and as Gloucester prepare for Sunday's trip to Wasps, the number eight is looking forward to see Gloucester go toe-to-toe with another of the Aviva Premiership's front runners.
Tom Marshall scored his first Gloucester try in the 31-23 win over Saracens on Friday evening and was named Man of the Match. Talking to GRTV, he praised the forwards for setting the tone on the night.
Matt Scott was on media duty this week, and the Scottish international spoke about the benefit of having a full week of training with his club mates and the determination to get back to performing well against Saracens this Friday evening.
Last Friday night saw Gloucester Rugby Head of Community Adam Balding present a cheque for £7082.82 to the Royal British Legion as a result of a series of fundraising during the Remembrance Period in November.
Gloucester battled bravely against Wasps on Sunday, but it was a case of taking chances at the Ricoh Arena. Gloucester didn't make the most of theirs while Wasps did, and that proved to be the difference.
Gloucester were competitive for long periods at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday afternoon, but were left to rue a host of missed scoring opportunities throughout as Wasps hit back to earn a 35-22 Aviva Premiership win.
Gloucester's Ciaran Knight made his first start at tighthead prop, Henry Walker made his first appearance as a second half replacement and Alex Seville also featured as England U20s might it three from three in the U20s Six Nations with a 46-0 win over Italy in Darlington on Friday night.