MARCO BORTOLAMI will return to the second row for Gloucester's Heineken Cup clash against the Ospreys tomorrow after injury ruled out Alex Brown (8pm).
Brown will miss the clash against the Ospreys because of a shoulder injury picked up at Ravenhill and Bortolami will return for only his second start of the season.
"Alex is a fantastic player and I think any team would miss an operator of his quality in the line-out and around the field," said head coach Dean Ryan. "But we have said all along the squad is strong enough to sustain three or four injuries and not be any weaker and to have an international captain returning from the bench is great for us.
"Marco is a natural leader, an inspirational type of guy and he played very well against Ulster last weekend when we were closing the game out."
Will James comes in on the bench in the only other change to Dean Ryan's squad as they look to build on their 32-14 victory in Belfast in front of what is expected to be a 16,500 sell-out tomorrow.
"This week will be an enormous challenge," Ryan added. "They have some great players and the group will be alive well beyond Friday. We'll deal with this game and then see where we are but we need 16,000 people screaming us on because games are won and lost on small margins.
"We'll need a bit of luck and we'll need to play well - we cannot just throw flair at a game like this. We need to understand what they are trying to do and be intense about what we do. My experience is that every minute matters in this competition. The moment you lose track you risk a result that knocks you out.
"The Ospreys are a totally different proposition to Ulster and they have great try-scoring ability - it will be a real fire-cracker of a game and something we are very much looking forward to."
Gloucester's backline remains intact once again and means that Rory Lawson and man of the match Ryan Lamb will start at half-back. Mike Tindall and Anthony Allen form their centre partnership - it will be Allen's 10th successive appearance of the season.
James Simpson-Daniel, Gloucester's leading Heineken Cup try-scorer with 15, is in a back three alongside Iain Balshaw and Lesley Vainikolo, who scored his debut last Friday.
Up front, Nick Wood, Olivier Azam and Carlos Nieto start in the front row. Peter Buxton will retain the captaincy despite the fact Bortolami is back in the second row.
Alasdair Strokosch will continue to wear the number six shirt with Akapusi Qera, the Fijian international, at openside and Luke Narraway at number eight.
The bench also remains the same - a hamstring injury ruling out Gareth Cooper. The forward replacements are Andy Titterrell, Christian Califano, Will James and Gareth Delve.
Mike Prendergast, Chris Paterson and Olly Morgan at the three-quarter options.
GLOUCESTER (v Ospreys, tomorrow 8pm): Iain Balshaw; James Simpson-Daniel, Mike Tindall, Anthony Allen, Lesley Vainikolo, Ryan Lamb, Rory Lawson; Nick Wood, Olivier Azam, Carlos Nieto, Peter Buxton (capt), Marco Bortolami, Alasdair Strokosch, Akapusi Qera, Luke Narraway. Reps: Andy Titterrell, Christian Califano, Will James, Gareth Delve, Mike Prendergast, Chris Paterson, Olly Morgan.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
In the aftermath of the Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell was able to look forward to this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues (Kingsholm, kick off 8:05pm).
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.