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.
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.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.