Nigel Melville knows it'll be tough in Ulster, and the Gloucester director of rugby is well aware of how important the Friday night game at Ravenhill is to his side's chances of Heineken Cup quarter-final qualification.
Gloucester currently sit in second place in pool six on 13 points, one point behind leaders Stade Francais, who they place at Kingsholm on Sunday 16 January. The West Country club know that two wins from the next two games would see them top the group, but defeat in Ulster could end their chances.
Commenting on www.gloucesterrugbyclub.com Melville said: "Of course it's going to be hard out there. They've got a superb record at home, just like all of the Irish provinces. It looks like the wind and rain will be in force, but we know that we have to win. We believe that we can qualify for the knock-out stages, but to keep us in control we have to get the points in Ireland."
Melville and coach Dean Ryan recall hooker James Parkes, in place of Mefin Davies, who has played the last three games for Gloucester. Parkes and Academy player Rob Elloway are Gloucester's last two registered hookers, after long term injuries to Chris Fortey and Olivier Azam.
Elsewhere in the line-up Simon Amor returns to the side at stand-off with Henry Paul moving to inside centre. James Bailey replaces Seti Kiole on the left wing, as the Tongan is not registered for European competition.
Absent through injury are Duncan McRae (knee - expected return 16/22 January), Chris Fortey (ankle - long term), Olivier Azam (shoulder - February/March), James Simpson-Daniel (shoulder - mid/end of January), Oliver Morgan (wrist - mid-January), Rory Teague (thumb - end of January), Brad Davies (ankle - week by week) and James Merriman (knee - February).
15. Jon Goodridge
14. Marcel Garvey
13. Terry Fanolua
12. Henry Paul
11. James Bailey
10. Simon Amor
9. Andy Gomarsall
1. Christo Bezuidenhout
2. James Parkes
3. Phil Vickery
4. Adam Eustace
5. Alex Brown
6. Jake Boer (c)
7. Andy Hazell
8. Adam Balding
16. Rob Elloway, 17. Terry Sigley, 18. Nick Wood, 19. Peter Buxton, 20. James Forrester, 21. Alex Page, 22. Nathan Mauger
GRTV FEATURE | We caught up with Rugby Development Manager Terry Fanolua on Monday morning, on the first day of the Half Term Rugby Camps at Wycliffe College. Fanolua spoke about what was in store ahead of a busy week on the pitch! Check out the GoPro footage as we got up close to the action!
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.
The Gloucester Rugby Half Term Rugby Camps got off to a great start on Monday morning, with over 60 young rugby players braving the chilly weather to experience a great day of skills, learning and fun thanks to the Gloucester Rugby Community Department.
A number of Gloucester Rugby's promising young players are currently playing their competitive rugby on loan at other clubs, and six of them featured in Saturday's game between London Welsh and Rotherham Titans.