CHRIS PATERSON, the deadliest kicker at the 2007 World Cup, will make his Gloucester debut against London Irish on Sunday (4pm).
The Scotland international, who returned home from France with a 100% kicking record, will wear the number 14 shirt for his debut at the Madejski Stadium as Gloucester hunt their sixth successive Guinness Premiership victory.
With Gloucester's growing squad strength, head coach Dean Ryan has again shifted around his line-up and has made six changes to the team that beat Sale Sharks 31-12 last Saturday.
There are three changes to the forward pack - Patrice Collazo comes in at loose-head prop in place of Nick Wood, Marco Bortolami, the Italian national captain, comes in at number four for Will James and Fijian international Akapusi Qera replaces Alasdair Strokosch on the openside flank.
"Although our squad strength is now returning, we have operated with a core group of about 23 or 24 players for the first five games and that has been very hard on them," said head coach Dean Ryan.
"I have said from week one that we will select a team appropriate for each and every individual game and that is what we have done. I think it is tremendously exciting to see some of the combinations in action."
Alongside Collazo, Andy Titterrell retains the number two shirt and will pack down alongside Carlos Nieto at tight-head. Bortolami and Alex Brown are the second rows, while Peter Buxton, who will retain the captaincy role, Qera and Luke Narraway are the back row.
There are also three changes in the three-quarters. Paterson comes in on the wing for Leon Lloyd, who moves to the bench. Iain Balshaw returns at full-back because Olly Morgan is ruled out with a hamstring strain and Mike Prendergast comes in at scrum-half for Rory Lawson.
Ryan Lamb will partner Prendergast at half-back, while James Bailey, Mike Tindall and Anthony Allen complete the line-up
Lesley Vainikolo (neck), James Simpson-Daniel (hamstring) Andy Hazell (ribs), and Gareth Cooper (hamstring) are all recovering from injury.
"I am delighted to be able to select a guy of Chris Paterson's quality," Ryan added. "We know what he brings to the group in terms of his knowledge and understanding of the game and has a mountain of experience as an international-quality player. He is fantastically reliable and able to play in a number of positions.
"We have taken our time to integrate some of our returning World Cup players but we were keen to get Chris and Akapusi some game-time and view this is a good opportunity for them against opponents who have been tough to beat for us in recent years.
"I am sure London Irish have not made the start they were hoping for but they have the majority of the squad still together from last season and we have a lot of respect for how they approach the game and what they want to achieve.
"We are expecting a kick-back from their performance last weekend and we will have to respond in the right way - we are looking forward to the occasion - it is a great place to play and a big game for us,"
On the bench, Olivier Azam and Christian Califano are the front row options and Will James and Alasdair Strokosch the other forward options.
Rory Lawson, Willie Walker and Lloyd are the three-quarter options. Please note that Karl Pryce will also travel with the squad.
GLOUCESTER (v London Irish, Sunday, 4pm): Iain Balshaw; Chris Paterson, Mike Tindall, Anthony Allen, James Bailey; Ryan Lamb, Mike Prendergast, Patrice Collazo, Andy Titterrell, Carlos Nieto, Marco Bortolami, Alex Brown, Peter Buxton (capt), Akapusi Qera Luke Narraway. Reps: Olivier Azam, Christian Califano, Will James, Alasdair Strokosch, Rory Lawson, Willie Walker, Leon Lloyd.
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