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.
Please note that the club will be showing tomorrow's World Cup final in the Shed bar and not the new C&G Grandstand.
As Gloucester prepare for their 39th game of the season, against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday, David Humphreys told the local media that this week has been all about getting the players mentally and physically ready after a tough game against Connacht last Sunday.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-32 victory over Connacht on Sunday, skipper Billy Twelvetrees explained that Gloucester had had to learn to be patient and cut out the errors to earn the win and progress to next weekend's final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
Speaking to the local media this week, front rower John Afoa is familiar with the challenge of Connacht from his time in Belfast, and the World Cup winner is fully aware of the challenge they pose ahead of Sunday's meeting in the Champions Cup play off
Speaking ahead of Gloucester's European Rugby Champions play-off against Connacht on Sunday (Kingsholm, 3:30pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's glad to have more players available than in recent weeks ahead of a tough fixture.
Nick Wood captained the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, and the experienced front rower expressed his pride in the young squad in defeat to Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Lewis Ludlow scored Gloucester's opening try in the 30-50 defeat at Bath on Saturday, part of an impressive performance by the young back row forward. Speaking after the game, he paid tribute to the young Gloucester side who went toe to toe with the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Tongan international forward Sione Kalamafoni returns after injury to take up his usual place in the back row as Gloucester look to finish their season on a high against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday.
Gloucester Rugby is delighted to confirm that 18 year old Mat Protheroe, a product of Hartpury College and one of the brightest young talents in the English game, has signed a senior contract at Kingsholm.