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.
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.
Great news this afternoon as Cherry and White duo Mat Protheroe and Ollie Thorley have been named to start for England as they open up their Under 20 Six Nations campaign against Scotland in Glasgow this Friday
A number of Gloucester Rugby's Academy players will be part of a Hartpury Rugby squad which will travel to Pennyhill Park on Thursday to train with Eddie Jones' England side in their build up to take on Scotland.