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.
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.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Having named an unchanged starting XV for the past three Aviva Premiership games, Gloucester Rugby ring the changes and retain only five players for Thursday's visit of Stade Rochelais in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 7:45pm).