JAKE BOER will replace the injured Andy Hazell for Gloucester's Guinness Premiership trip to Newcastle tomorrow, Friday (8pm).
Hazell is ruled out with a shoulder injury picked up in Gloucester's 21-21 draw against Bath last Saturday and Boer comes in on the openside flank in the only change to Dean Ryan's forward pack.
Boer will make his 19th appearance in all competitions this season - his last start was against the Falcons in March and he marked it with a try during Gloucester's tense 24-18 victory.
"Andy's injury is not serious but we are not prepared to take a risk on an extremely important player with such a small turn-around from last Saturday's game," head coach Dean Ryan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
"We are close to a potential play-off and we think this is a good time to offer him a bit of a break. In a player like Jake Boer, you couldn't really ask for anyone more experienced or more determined to succeed and he will bring a great deal to our forward pack."
Ryan has also been forced into a change in his backline - an ankle injury picked up in training has ruled out James Simpson-Daniel which means Mark Foster comes into the side as Gloucester look to extend their six match unbeaten run.
The rest of the starting line-up remains the same as the one that drew at the Rec which means Nick Wood, Olivier Azam and Carlos Nieto form the front row.
Will James, a try scorer against Bath, partners skipper Marco Bortolami at lock even though Alex Brown returns to the 22 following nerve damage in his shoulder.
Boer will pack down alongside Peter Buxton and number eight James Forrester.
In the backs, Rory Lawson and Ryan Lamb start at half-back, the regular combination of Anthony Allen and Mike Tindall are in the centre and Foster, James Bailey and Iain Balshaw complete the back three.
"It is disappointing not to have a player of James Simpson-Daniel's game-breaking ability available to us but we are still able to name a strong, competitive side that is on a good unbeaten run.
"I said before the game at Kingsholm that Newcastle try and play the game in the right way and we found out just exactly how dangerous they can be.
"We are certainly aware of their threat, of their broken-field capability and a good home record."
On the bench, hooker Mefin Davies returns after a family illness and full-back Jon Goodridge comes into the squad now that Foster starts.
Luke Narraway also returns to the squad for Adam Eustace.
GLOUCESTER (V Newcastle, tomorrow, Friday, 8pm): Iain Balshaw; James Bailey, Mike Tindall, Anthony Allen, Mark Foster; Ryan Lamb, Rory Lawson; Nick Wood, Olivier Azam, Carlos Nieto, Will James, Marco Bortolami (capt), Peter Buxton, Jake Boer, James Forrester. Reps: Mefin Davies, Jack Forster, Alex Brown, Luke Narraway, Peter Richards, Willie Walker, Jon Goodridge.
Tom Savage delivered a Man of the Match performance against Exeter Chiefs on his birthday on Saturday evening. He spoke to GRTV after the game about the importance of the European Rugby Challenge Cup win.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester Rugby can confirm that their allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final against Edinburgh Rugby, taking place at The Stoop on Friday May 1st (kick off 7:45pm) is now officially sold out.
The Gloucester Rugby Ticket office can advise that the club's initial allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final has sold out. However, the club has secured an additional allocation of tickets from EPCR which will go on sale on Monday.
Following Saturday evening's exciting European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs, the Ticket Office at Kingsholm will be open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm for Club Members to purchase tickets for the Final.