JAKE BOER will wear the captain's arm-band for tomorrow's final Guinness Premiership match of the season at Kingsholm against Newcastle (4.30pm).
The South African flanker, who will return home at the end of the season to pursue business interests, has been handed the honour by Gloucester's regular skipper Marco Bortolami.
Boer skippered the club in 2002/03 when Gloucester lifted the Powergen Cup and finished the regular season top of the Premiership and then for part of the following season before Adam Balding took over.
"I think the gesture from Marco is a wonderful one towards a wonderful player in this club's history," said head coach Dean Ryan.
"Marco has shown what a great individual he is, both on and off the field this season, and I think it is very fitting that a player of Jake's credibility within the game and the obvious deep affection he has with Gloucester supporters is honoured in this way.
"He has had a great career, been part of the club during a very successful period and is thoroughly deserving of his send off - he has been a fantastic player."
Boer comes into the side in place of Peter Buxton, who moves to the bench after making 18 Premiership appearances so far this season. Lock Alex Brown is ruled out with a shoulder injury which means Will James retains his place alongside the returning Bortolami.
There is also a change at hooker, where Mefin Davies comes in for Olivier Azam, who moves to the bench and Carlos Nieto is back for Jack Forster, who is also on the bench.
In the backs, England centre Mike Tindall returns following a knee complaint picked up in the win over France and will partner Anthony Allen in the centre.
James Simpson-Daniel returns to the wing with James Bailey, while Willie Walker completes the back three.
Ryan Lamb and Peter Richards continue at half-back and Rory Lawson returns to the bench after international duty with Scotland.
"Tomorrow will be an emotional day in a number of ways and that makes it of even greater significance," Ryan added. "We got the job done last weekend but nothing more and we need to be more clinical.
"Like ourselves, Newcastle play the game in the right way. They have some wonderful players with ball in hand and it should be a cracking encounter. You cannot fail to be impressed with the way they approach the game and they will be very dangerous.
"We just need to get our game right, concentrate on what makes us tick and try and get the job done."
GLOUCESTER (V Newcastle, tomorrow 4.30pm): Willie Walker, James Bailey, Mike Tindall, Anthony Allen, James Simpson-Daniel; Ryan Lamb, Peter Richards; Nick Wood, Mefin Davies, Carlos Nieto, Will James, Marco Bortolami, Jake Boer (capt), Andy Hazell, James Forrester. Reps: Olivier Azam, Jack Forster, Adam Eustace, Peter Buxton, Rory Lawson, Mark Foster, Jon Goodridge.
Speaking to the media following the 31-33 West Country Challenge Cup defeat to Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium, Director of Rugby David Humphreys was full of praise for his side's battling qualities in a bruising encounter but concerned about the injuries picked up.
The West Country Challenge Cup fixture against the Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium in Bristol on Saturday (kick off 3pm) will be Gloucester's last chance to work on things like new combinations says Director of Rugby, David Humphreys.
Speaking after the 30-21 West Country Challenge Cup defeat at Bath, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke of the improvements his team are making as preseason progresses but acknowledges that there is still work to do ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership.
Speaking to the local media ahead of Saturday's trip to Bath Rugby in the West Country Challenge Cup, front rower Nick Wood spoke of the hard work put in across the extended preseason and highlighted the competition for front row spots in the squad.
Gloucester have named a 30 man squad for the latest round of West Country Challenge Cup action against Bath on Saturday, with Director of Rugby David Humphreys stressing the need to keep an eye on player workload ahead of what will be a long, tough season.
Describing the 50-7 West Country Challenge Cup win over Bath on Sunday as a '...good hit out...', wing Charlie Sharples admitted that it had been a good opportunity to put into practice things that the squad have been trying out in training in recent weeks.
Speaking to the local media after the 50-7 victory over Bath Rugby on Sunday, David Humphreys was happy with his squad's effort, with the most important aspect being the game time earned by his players.
Gloucester make wholesale changes to the side that started at Exeter last Saturday as they prepare to take on Bath at the Memorial Stadium, Bristol on Sunday in the West Country Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm). The Director of Rugby told GRTV that the players are raring to go and that he's looking forward to seeing different combinations in action.