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.
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).