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.
Speaking to the media following the 31-33 West Country Challenge Cup defeat to Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium, Director of Rugby David Humphreys was full of praise for his side's battling qualities in a bruising encounter but concerned about the injuries picked up.
The West Country Challenge Cup fixture against the Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium in Bristol on Saturday (kick off 3pm) will be Gloucester's last chance to work on things like new combinations says Director of Rugby, David Humphreys.
Speaking after the 30-21 West Country Challenge Cup defeat at Bath, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke of the improvements his team are making as preseason progresses but acknowledges that there is still work to do ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership.
Speaking to the local media ahead of Saturday's trip to Bath Rugby in the West Country Challenge Cup, front rower Nick Wood spoke of the hard work put in across the extended preseason and highlighted the competition for front row spots in the squad.
Gloucester have named a 30 man squad for the latest round of West Country Challenge Cup action against Bath on Saturday, with Director of Rugby David Humphreys stressing the need to keep an eye on player workload ahead of what will be a long, tough season.
Describing the 50-7 West Country Challenge Cup win over Bath on Sunday as a '...good hit out...', wing Charlie Sharples admitted that it had been a good opportunity to put into practice things that the squad have been trying out in training in recent weeks.
Speaking to the local media after the 50-7 victory over Bath Rugby on Sunday, David Humphreys was happy with his squad's effort, with the most important aspect being the game time earned by his players.
Gloucester make wholesale changes to the side that started at Exeter last Saturday as they prepare to take on Bath at the Memorial Stadium, Bristol on Sunday in the West Country Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm). The Director of Rugby told GRTV that the players are raring to go and that he's looking forward to seeing different combinations in action.