HEAD coach Dean Ryan has named a side containing six full internationals for tomorrow's European Challenge Cup pool match against Romanian side Bucuresti at Kingsholm (3pm).
The Gloucester boss has hardly deviated from the side that began the competition with a 26-10 victory in Bayonne last weekend.
Skipper Phil Vickery, hooker Mefin Davies, lock Quinton Davids, flanker Andy Hazell and centres Mike Tindall and James Simpson-Daniel are all named in an experienced line-up.
Ryan has made only three changes from last Saturday's starting XV. Nick Wood gets a run at loosehead prop in place of Patrice Collazo, who moves to the bench. Luke Narraway starts at number eight in place of James Forrester and Marcel Garvey has the opportunity to press for regular first team rugby after replacing Mark Foster.
But Ryan admitted his side face something of the unknown tomorrow against opponents they know little about.
"We know very little about them - apart from the fact they ran Toulon very close last weekend," Ryan said. "But we anticipate them setting up very much like a French side.
"They will have big men, be very physical up front and have some pace out-wide. We have to be very focused and keep our concentration and play to a style we know we are good at.
"We are treating this game like we would Bayonne or Toulon because we can afford no mistakes."
Narraway gets the chance to start at number eight but both flankers - Peter Buxton and Hazell - retain their positions. Hazell has recovered from a dead arm picked up in Bayonne, while Forrester is on the bench but he has also shaken off a dead leg.
Hooker Rob Elloway gets a chance on the bench in place of James Parkes and lock Mark Cornwell also returns to the squad.
Anthony Allen is preferred to Terry Fanolua, who is still restricted by a knee injury. Scrum-half Peter Richards is also included.
"As a club, we are concentrating solely on our own performance," Ryan said. "We just want to get that right and this weekend is another important step towards that.
"We have a strong squad and it will be good to see the likes of Luke Narraway and Marcel Garvey in the first team."
GLOUCESTER (v Bucuresti, Kingsholm, Saturday 3pm): Olly Morgan; Rob Thirlby, James Simpson-Daniel, Mike Tindall, Marcel Garvey; Ludovic Mercier, Haydn Thomas; Nick Wood, Mefin Davies, Phil Vickery (capt), Adam Eustace, Quinton Davids, Peter Buxton, Andy Hazell, Luke Narraway. Reps: Rob Elloway, Patrice Collazo, Mark Cornwell, James Forrester, Peter Richards, Anthony Allen, Simon Amor.
David Humphreys spoke to the local press after the Gloucester Rugby team to face Exeter Chiefs on Friday was announced. Henry Purdy is making his Premiership debut for Gloucester and thoroughly deserves his chance says Humphreys.
Dan Murphy was part of a Gloucester pack which took a grip as the Sale game progressed and, ultimately, were rewarded with a late penalty try. The loose head prop says the team's improved scrummaging is down to a lot of hard work over the summer.
Gloucester clinched their first Aviva Premiership win of the season on Saturday, 34-27 over Sale Sharks, and scrum half Greig Laidlaw felt that the Kingsholm crowd played a massive part as they spurred the team on.
David Humphreys spoke to Gloucester Rugby TV after the 34-27 win over Sale Sharks at Kingsholm. The Director of Rugby praised the Kingsholm crowd for spurring the team on to a super second half comeback.
Speaking to Gloucester Rugby TV this week, Sione Kalamafoni is expecting a tough, physical battle against Sale Sharks as the Cherry and Whites return to Kingsholm for Round Two of the Aviva Premiership
Previewing this weekend's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Sale Sharks with the local media, Director of Media David Humphreys admitted he's looking forward to the team's first competitive outing in front of their own supporters.
The message from the Gloucester Rugby Ticket Office is that tickets still remain for this evening's Aviva Premiership game against Exeter Chiefs and that there are a large number of tickets to be collected on the night.
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