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.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
Speaking to the local media this week, front rower John Afoa is familiar with the challenge of Connacht from his time in Belfast, and the World Cup winner is fully aware of the challenge they pose ahead of Sunday's meeting in the Champions Cup play off
Speaking ahead of Gloucester's European Rugby Champions play-off against Connacht on Sunday (Kingsholm, 3:30pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's glad to have more players available than in recent weeks ahead of a tough fixture.
Nick Wood captained the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, and the experienced front rower expressed his pride in the young squad in defeat to Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Lewis Ludlow scored Gloucester's opening try in the 30-50 defeat at Bath on Saturday, part of an impressive performance by the young back row forward. Speaking after the game, he paid tribute to the young Gloucester side who went toe to toe with the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Speaking to the local media after the game, Director of Rugby David Humphreys gave an honest assessment of the game, and expressed his pride in the way his young charges had performed against the title-chasing hosts.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby scrum half Callum Braley is excited by the challenge of the West Country Derby, and the ex-Bristol man reveals the squad will be giving their all.
It was a thriller at Kingsholm on Sunday afternoon, as Gloucester snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, leveling the scores in the final minute before triumphing in extra time over a spirited Connacht side.
Having defeated Connacht Rugby in dramatic fashion in the first play-off for the final spot in the 2015-16 European Rugby Champions Cup, Gloucester Rugby can confirm ticketing details for next Sunday's game against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways.
Gloucester snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and move on to next weekend's European Champions Cup final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles after a dramatic extra time win over a valiant Connacht side.