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.
Speaking after Gloucester's final preseason friendly, a 29-24 defeat away at Scarlets, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reflected upon a performance that will form a crucial part of the Cherry and Whites preparations for the Aviva Premiership opener at Northampton next week.
Speaking to the media after the 45-8 preseason friendly victory over Munster, Director of Rugby David Humphreys wasn't getting too carried away, admitting that his team are making progress but that there's still a way to go.
Billy Twelvetrees spoke to Gloucester Rugby TV on Friday ahead of the pre season friendly with Munster Rugby. The club captain is excited to be back in the action at Kingsholm and experience the atmosphere again.
Gloucester Rugby Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke to the local media after the 62-19 victory over Yorkshire Carnegie, and showed his delight at the first run out and stated there was still lots to work on ahead of the new season
Mark Atkinson made his first appearance in Cherry and White in the pre season victory over Yorkshire Carnegie on Saturday. Speaking to the local media, he was impressed with the first experience of Kingsholm.
Gloucester Rugby kick off their Aviva Premiership campaign at Northampton Saints on Friday evening, and then return home to entertain the same opponent in the A League at Kingsholm on Monday September 8th.
Gloucester Rugby travelled to West Wales for their third and final preseason game ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership next week. The Scarlets were the opposition and Gloucester left Parc y Scarlets on the wrong end of a 29-24 scoreline.