MIKE TINDALL will make his first return to the Rec tomorrow aiming to make history as a Gloucester player.
The England centre will be the central figure as the Kingsholm club aim for their first ever league victory at the Rec.
Head coach Dean Ryan has recalled seven players to his side following their Powergen Cup victory over Bristol last weekend - but there is no place for hooker Olivier Azam because of a shoulder injury picked up at the Memorial Stadium.
His place on the bench is taken by James Parkes but otherwise Ryan is drawing from a fully fit squad who will look to consolidate their position in the top three of the Guinness Premiership.
Up front, Mefin Davies takes the number two shirt and there are also returns for England trio Alex Brown, flanker Andy Hazell and number eight James Forrester.
In the backs, Tindall will partner Henry Paul in Gloucester's tried and trusted centre pairing, while Mark Foster is preferred on the wing to Marcel Garvey.
But all eyes will be on Tindall as he makes his first return to his former club following his summer switch to Kingsholm.
"You always want to play well when you go back to your old club," he told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk. "You always want to be fit, play well and win. Hopefully all those things will happen on Saturday.
"We know it's a massive game. In past seasons Gloucester have been the form team going down there but let themselves down a little.
"Since the start of the season we've said we don't mind losing to a better team, as long we as don't let ourselves down. The main thing for us is that we can put in a performance we can be proud of.
"If we can get everything right that we've done in the last five games and build on that as we've still got to improve in a lot of areas, then it's going to be a close game.
Bath played a lot better against the Ospreys, their attack was a lot better and that makes for a tight game. But that always seems to be the case in local derbies and it might be a penalty that decides the game."
GLOUCESTER (v Bath, tomorrow, Rec 2.45pm): Jon Goodridge; Mark Foster, Mike Tindall, Henry Paul, James Simpson-Daniel, Ludovic Mercier, Haydn Thomas; Patrice Collazo, Mefin Davies, Phil Vickery (capt), Adam Eustace, Alex Brown, Peter Buxton, Andy Hazell, James Forrester. Reps: James Parkes, Terry Sigley, Mark Cornwell, Jake Boer, Peter Richards, Terry Fanolua, Brad Davies.
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.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Having named an unchanged starting XV for the past three Aviva Premiership games, Gloucester Rugby ring the changes and retain only five players for Thursday's visit of Stade Rochelais in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 7:45pm).