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 have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Having named an unchanged starting XV for the past three Aviva Premiership games, Gloucester Rugby ring the changes and retain only five players for Thursday's visit of Stade Rochelais in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 7:45pm).