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 after the 37-8 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Benetton Treviso, James Hook admitted that the Italian side made things tough for Gloucester at times but that the Cherry and Whites are happy to take the bonus point win and turn their focus to Northampton next week.
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
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.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.