OLLY MORGAN will make his competitive debut in the European Challenge Cup on Saturday - ready to complete his second game in five days.
The 19-year-old full-back comes into the side for the injured Jon Goodridge who has a thigh complaint and the former Millfield star is relishing his chance to shine in the number 15 shirt.
Morgan's season has been disrupted by injury to date. He has only 160 minutes of rugby under his belt following a thigh injury that has ruled him out since the pre-season game against Viadana.
But he made his comeback in the Guinness A League on Monday in the 35-24 victory over Harlequins and told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk. "I have only played two games this season so I am absolutely chuffed to be included.
"Monday was my first game back and to be told on Tuesday I would be starting in the European Challenge Cup was a fantastic feeling.
"To go away in France and perform under lights will be the biggest challenge of my career both mentally and physically. I am a young player and this is good for my development.
"Any game in France is tough and this will be no exception - I am going to be nervous but I cannot wait to play on this stage. Bayonne beat Pau last weekend so we know how dangerous they can be."
Morgan has already represented England Under-21s and is one of a number of changes to the Gloucester side forced upon head coach Dean Ryan because of injury.
Lock Quinton Davids will make his competitive debut alongside Adam Eustace in the second row after Alex Brown was ruled out with a sore neck.
He picked up the injury against the Ospreys and will not travel with the team. Jonathan Pendlebury comes onto the bench in place of Mark Cornwell who is also ruled out through injury.
Neither Jake Boer (toe) and Olivier Azam (shoulder) were considered for selection which means the front row that started against Bath of Patrice Collazo, Mefin Davies and Phil Vickery begin in the Stade Jean Dauger.
The back row also remains intact, where Peter Buxton and Andy Hazell pack down on the flanks with James Forrester at number eight.
There are also changes in the backline. James Simpson-Daniel is shifted into the centre and will partner Mike Tindall, who moves to the number 12 shirt. Rob Thirlby and Mark Foster are the wingers with Ludovic Mercier and Haydn Thomas the half-backs.
On the bench, Anthony Allen is preferred to Terry Fanolua, who is recovering from a knee problem, while James Parkes is the back-up hooker.
GLOUCESTER (v Bayonne, Saturday): Olly Morgan; Mark Foster, James Simpson-Daniel, Mike Tindall, Rob Thirlby; Ludovic Mercier, Haydn Thomas; Patrice Collazo, Mefin Davies, Phil Vickery (capt), Adam Eustace, Quinton Davids, Peter Buxton, Andy Hazell, James Forrester. Reps: James Parkes, Terry Sigley, Nick Wood, Jonathan Pendlebury, Luke Narraway, Simon Amor, Anthony Allen. Marcel Garvey will also travel with the squad.
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.
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.
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).