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.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Exeter Chiefs, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reiterated that there are elements of Gloucester's game that are in good shape at present, that the performance against Bath was a step forward from Newcastle but that individual errors are costing the Cherry and Whites dear.
Centre Matt Scott, a try-scorer in Bayonne last weekend, insists that Gloucester are taking nothing for granted when they welcome Benetton Treviso to Kingsholm on Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm).