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 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.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
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).