James Simpson-Daniel is back for Gloucester tomorrow
Bruce Seabrook/GPA Images
JAMES SIMPSON-DANIEL will return to the Gloucester line-up for their Guinness Premiership clash against Sale Sharks tomorrow (3pm).
The England winger has recovered from a rib injury picked up during Gloucester's 26-18 Heineken Cup defeat against Agen a fortnight ago and replaces Mark Foster.
Head coach Dean Ryan is also without stand-off Willie Walker, who damaged a shoulder against Leinster last Friday, which means Ryan Lamb starts in the number 10 shirt.
There is a double change at half-back where Rory Lawson returns at scrum-half for Peter Richards, who moves to the bench.
There is still no place for centre Anthony Allen, which means Mike Tindall and Jack Adams retain their midfield combination and Iain Balshaw keeps the number 15 jersey - although Olly Morgan returns to the match-day 22 after taking a bang against Agen.
"It was inevitable that we would pick up some knocks in back to back European games but James has recovered well and obviously to have him back and available for selection is significant for us in a game of this importance," Ryan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
"We have faced a very busy schedule in recent weeks but we all recognise the significance of this game and need to build on the momentum we created against Leinster.
"I thought we played some excellent rugby against Sale a few weeks ago but did not come away with the result we wanted. We have learnt some tough lessons since then but we started to see the benefits of those last Friday.
"Despite their injury concerns, Sale are a fantastic side and we will have to be at our best against them."
In the forwards, Christian Califano returns at loose-head prop in place of Nick Wood and Olivier Azam starts at hooker in place of Mefin Davies.
The rest of the forward pack remains unchanged, which means Marco Bortolami and Alex Brown will pair up for the eighth match running at lock, Peter Buxton will make his 18th appearance of the season in all competitions at number six, Andy Hazell wears the seven shirt and Adam Balding continues at number eight.
On the bench, Ludovic Mercier returns for the first time since October following a disc problem in his neck.
GLOUCESTER Rugby (v Sale Sharks, tomorrow, 3pm): Iain Balshaw; James Bailey, Jack Adams, Mike Tindall, James Simpson-Daniel; Ryan Lamb, Rory Lawson; Christian Califano, Olivier Azam, Carlos Nieto, Marco Bortolami (capt), Alex Brown, Peter Buxton, Andy Hazell, Adam Balding. Reps: Mefin Davies, Nick Wood, Will James, Jake Boer, Peter Richards, Ludovic Mercier, Olly Morgan.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-29 Aviva A League win over Wasps Rugby, Academy Coach Rich Whiffin explained his pride in the squad to overcome a strong opponent and book their spot in next week's Aviva A League final.
Willi Heinz returned from injury to skipper Gloucester to a famous 16-14 win over Stade Rochelais on Saturday evening. Speaking after the game in France, Heinz admitted the win wasn't pretty but was full of courage and a great result for the club.
Billy Burns contributed all Gloucester's points in the 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening, but dedicated the victory to the whole squad whilst also praising the travelling support.
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Speaking to GRTV after Saturday's 39-30 Aviva Premiership win over Sale, Mark Atkinson admitted that the performance wasn't perfect but that the team's character shone through in a game that could easily have slipped away.
Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw is targeting a 'unique' finish to his Gloucester tenure in the European Rugby Challenge Cup final at the venue where his professional playing career began, BT Murrayfield Stadium (Friday 12 May).
Gloucester's young United side once again dug deep to take an illustrious scalp, overturning a half-time deficit to earn a 40-29 victory over Wasps and earn a place in the Aviva Premiership A League final.