GLOUCESTER have been handed a major boost ahead of their trip to Leicester on Saturday with the news that Mefin Davies is available for selection following international duty with Wales.
Head coach Dean Ryan had it confirmed on Tuesday that he would definitely have his first choice number two for the trip to Welford Road after International Rugby Board regulations stated clubs must release players for three international games in the autumn period, and Wales chose the All Blacks, South Africa and Australia.
Wales are scheduled to play Fiji on Friday and that leaves the way clear for Davies to resume Guinness Premiership action against the Tigers.
"It is outstanding news for us and we are delighted to have a player of Mefin's ability available for selection," Ryan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk. "Mefin is the sort of player who gives us tremendous accuracy in any environment and is someone who doesn't buckle under pressure.
"He knows what it is to function under pressure in a ground like Welford Road and that ability will be very important to us this weekend."
Davies will come back into contention alongside James Parkes, who did an excellent job against Newcastle last Saturday. Ryan will also have Rob Elloway available which gives him plenty of options.
Fly-half Billy Burns was named Man of the Match after the 35-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup victory over Stade Rochelais on Thursday evening, and was full of praise for all his team mates for the win after a short turnaround.
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.
Gloucester's much changed side had to overcome conceding an early try on Thursday evening, but responded in style to down Stade Rochelais by 35 points to 14 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a mouthwatering return fixture next weekend.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.