Terry Fanolua and Andy Hazell returned to training this week as Gloucester continue the build-up to their final Zurich Premiership game against Saracens at Kingsholm on Saturday 30 April (kick off 3pm).
Both Fanolua and Hazell have missed the last two defeats against Leeds and Sale Sharks, and will give director of rugby Nigel Melville and coach Dean Ryan a big boost as preparations continue for the last league game of the regular season.
Fanolua has struggled with a back injury in recent weeks, and Hazell has been recovering from a knock to the head he picked up in the win over London Irish at the end of March.
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The return of Fanolua could also mean Aussie stand-off Duncan McRae back in the number 10 shirt against Saracens. McRae missed the last Premiership outing when Kiwi Nathan Mauger filled in for Fanolua and the overseas ruling meant the former South Wales Waratahs half-back started from the bench.
Marcel Garvey also missed the trip to Sale 10 days ago, and has been involved in non-contact work this week, with a hope to return to contact training next week.
Phil Vickery is still taking it day-by-day with regards to the healing process of his broken bone in his arm, and the Kingsholm coaching staff will continue to monitor his progress going into next week.
Talking this week, Vickery said: "The arm has to be right before I go back out there for a Premiership game. I'm in constant communication with the physios and keeping up with the non-contact training. We can't say yes or no at the moment as to whether the Saracens game is a realistic target, hopefully next week we'll know more."
Wing Seti Kiole has had a week of recovery after injuring his shoulder against the Sharks, and along with Vickery and Garvey will be first to attend the physio's clinic as the preparations continues next week.
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).