GLOUCESTER will welcome back two of their most important and inspirational figures tomorrow when they host Bristol at Ashton Gate (3.05pm).
Both James Simpson-Daniel and Andy Hazell will return to the starting line-up having missed the 19-12 defeat at Newcastle a fortnight ago as Gloucester aim for top spot in the Guinness Premiership.
Hazell's influence has been stratospheric for Gloucester all season. He will require only four more tackles tomorrow to top 200 for the season and heads the Premiership tackle count - 14 ahead of team-mate Peter Buxton.
The openside flanker will line-up alongside Buxton and James Forrester in Gloucester's row.
Simpson-Daniel, meanwhile, will make his 15 Premiership appearance of the season and his first at outside centre because of the injury to Mike Tindall. He will partner Anthony Allen in Gloucester's backline that is reshuffled because of injury.
James Bailey, who is Gloucester's leading Premiership try scorer with five, is ruled out with a groin injury which means Iain Balshaw switches to the wing and Willie Walker comes in at full-back.
Peter Richards starts at scrum-half and will partner Ryan Lamb at half-back.
"Tomorrow will be a history making occasion for Gloucester but the vibe about Ashton Gate is really, really positive and something we are all looking forward to," head coach Dean Ryan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
"It is a fantastic stadium, there will be more than 12,500 Gloucester supporters inside the ground and the atmosphere generated will be like Kingsholm on the road.
"There is a significant amount on this match for both teams. We were exceptionally disappointed with aspects of our defeat at Newcastle and I expect to see a reaction from that.
"When you look back at the last 12 months it is possible to see how far this group has come. I think it is testament to the squad we are building we are in this position and we now need to take that into knockout rugby.
"We are delighted to have both Andy Hazell and James Simpson-Daniel back in the side because they have experience of big, one-off matches and that is vital at this stage of the season."
In the forwards, Ryan is able to name a settled line-up. Nick Wood, Olivier Azam and Carlos Nieto form the front row, while Alex Brown returns in the second row alongside skipper Marco Bortolami.
On the bench there are returns for Christian Califano, who broke his thumb against Northampton at the start of March and Jack Adams. Gloucester will make a decision tomorrow on their back row replacement between Jake Boer and Luke Narraway.
GLOUCESTER (v Bristol, tomorrow, Ashton Gate): Willie Walker; Mark Foster, James Simpson-Daniel, Anthony Allen, Iain Balshaw; Ryan Lamb, Pete Richards; Nick Wood, Olivier Azam, Carlos Nieto, Marco Bortolami (capt), Alex Brown, Peter Buxton, Andy Hazell, James Forrester. Reps: Mefin Davies, Christian Califano, Will James, Jake Boer/Luke Narraway, Rory Lawson, Jack Adams, Jon Goodridge.
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Director of Rugby Nigel Davies admits that it's been a tough week at Gloucester Rugby following defeat at London Wasps last weekend, but that he's looking for his team to rise to the occasion for the huge game at home to Bath Rugby on Saturday.
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Nigel Davies spoke to Gloucester Rugby TV following the 36-24 defeat to London Wasps in the Amlin Challenge Cup Quarter Final. The Director of Rugby rued a lacklustre showing the first half despite a big second half display with ultimately came to nothing on a hugely frustrating night for the Cherry and Whites.
Nick Wood spoke to the assembled media following the vital 14-13 victory over Exeter Chiefs on Saturday. The front-rower express his delight at the performance of the front row and challenged his colleagues to push on from the display
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Ahead of this weekend's trip to Twickenham for The Stinger, there are plenty of videos on the way to preview the fixture vs London Wasps, as well as video reaction and unique Go Pro videos from the last 7 days of action.
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