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.
Gloucester-Hartpury Women take on West Park Leeds Ladies in the final of the Intermediate Cup Final on Saturday. Head Coach Susie Appleby took time out to preview the game and chat about the future for the team.
Number eight Ben Morgan admitted that the 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol on Friday evening hadn't been pretty at times, but that the win was based on everyone in the squad remaining united and working for each other.
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)
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).