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 ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Newcastle Falcons (kick off 3pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys emphasised the importance this weekend of Gloucester building on last week's impressive home victory against the Exeter Chiefs.
Speaking to the assembled national and local media, try-scorer Jonny May was delighted and relieved to have tasted victory on Saturday evening, and is looking forward to the European Rugby Challenge Cup final.
Tom Savage delivered a Man of the Match performance against Exeter Chiefs on his birthday on Saturday evening. He spoke to GRTV after the game about the importance of the European Rugby Challenge Cup win.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Gloucester Rugby return to Aviva Premiership action against the Newcastle Falcons on Saturday (Kingsholm, kick off 3pm), and make several changes to the side that defeated Exeter Chiefs at home last weekend.