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.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
Speaking to the local media after the 35-22 loss at Wasps, lock Tom Savage spoke of his disappointment at the result, with Gloucester left to rue a number of missed opportunities against a clinical home side.
Speaking after his return from England duty, Gloucester winger Jonny May reflected on England winning the Six Nations Championship, if not the Grand Slam, and what he needs to focus on to get back into the starting line-up.
Ross Moriarty started for Wales at the Stade de France on Saturday while Matt Scott was a replacement for Scotland. It was Scott who finished the day the happier, a try-scorer in a 29-0 victory over Italy.