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.
Fly-half Billy Burns was named Man of the Match after the 35-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup victory over Stade Rochelais on Thursday evening, and was full of praise for all his team mates for the win after a short turnaround.
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
Gloucester's much changed side had to overcome conceding an early try on Thursday evening, but responded in style to down Stade Rochelais by 35 points to 14 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a mouthwatering return fixture next weekend.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.