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.
A handful of the Gloucester Rugby Mo-Bros visited Pride Hair Salon in Gloucester on Wednesday afternoon to have the final touches applied to their Movember efforts, and the team captain Jacob Rowan spoke to GRTV ahead of the final few days of the month.
Northampton away was the first Gloucester game under David Humphreys last season, but the Director of Rugby told the local media that the Cherry and Whites are a different proposition compared to 12 months ago and are looking forward to the challenge.
Having skippered Gloucester against the Barbarians last week, Nick Wood once again wore the captain's armband on Monday evening as Gloucester United kicked off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign with a bonus point win at Leicester.
Gloucester recorded a 32-20 win over La Rochelle on Thursday evening, and second row Jeremy Thrush was thrilled to pick up the victory on his first taste of a trip to France and the hostile atmosphere.
Gloucester were forced to battle for their 33-20 victory in La Rochelle on Thursday evening, something that centre Bill Meakes said that he and the squad were well prepared for as well as thanking the travelling support for the part they played.
Gloucester got off to a winning start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend, but Head Coach Laurie Fisher is expecting a much tougher challenge when the Cherry and Whites travel to La Rochelle for Thursday night's Round Two encounter.
Dan Thomas was a try scorer in the 14-62 defeat at the hands of the Barbarians on Tuesday evening, but told GRTV after the game that he'd really enjoyed taking on the Barbarians and locking horns with Ardie Savea at the breakdown.
After missing out on Gloucester's two recent European fixtures, Jonny May is back on the left wing for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture at Northampton, while Mariano Galarza is named in the matchday squad for the first time this season.