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
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.