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, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).