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.
Named Man of the Match by BT Sport, scrum-half Willi Heinz said after the 15-11 win at Bath on Friday evening that it was a pretty happy Gloucester dressing room and reward for a lot of hard work put in during the week leading up to the game.
Speaking after the 15-11 win over Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, David Humphreys heaped praise on his players, pointing out how they had bounced back after last week's tough defeat to overcome a rough start before controlling the game and earning the win.
Gloucester Rugby hooker Richard Hibbard spoke to the local media this week as the Cherry and Whites prepare to face Bath Rugby in the Aviva Premiership. The Welshman is ready to bounce back at The Rec.
Speaking to the local media about the local derby against Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys acknowledged that it will be a tough encounter but hugely exciting at the same time and one the squad are looking forward to.
A visibly disappointed Billy Twelvetrees admitted that it was a very sombre Gloucester dressing room as a last minute try and conversion condemned the Cherry and Whites to an 18-19 defeat against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
A disappointed Tom Savage told GRTV, after the 18-19 defeat at home to the Leicester Tigers, that the whole Gloucester team had put in a fantastic effort, but just couldn't find the extra one or two percent necessary to put away a top side.
Speaking after the narrow loss to Leicester Tigers on Saturday afternoon, David Humphreys says despite there being a lot of good in Gloucester's performance, he rued the failure to close the game out, as well as thanking the home support
Kiwi second row Jeremy Thrush is thoroughly enjoying his time in Cherry and White so far, and this weekend the Leicester Tigers are the visitors to Kingsholm, and the All Black is massively excited about the challenge.
After two wins in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, securing a home quarter-final, David Humphreys told the local media this week that Gloucester are coming into Saturday's game in good physical shape having rotated the squad. However, he and the squad are prepared for a tough encounter against the Tigers.
It's almost four years since Gloucester won a Premiership game at the Rec against Bath. However, they got that monkey off their back on Friday evening with a hard-fought 15-11 win in testing conditions.
John Afoa returns to the Gloucester Rugby starting line up to take on Bath Rugby at the Rec in the Aviva Premiership on Friday evening, one of three changes to the side that started against Leicester last weekend.