WILLIE WALKER will make his first Guinness Premiership start of the season tomorrow in the number 10 shirt against Leicester at Welford Road (6pm).
The Kiwi comes into the side for Ryan Lamb as head coach Dean Ryan once again rotates his squad for the clash between the teams at the top of the table.
"Ryan has been in excellent form for us and it was fantastic he was named as the Guinness Premiership's player of the month for September because it recognised his huge talent and development.
"But I have made it clear since the start of the season that the value in a nine month season is the strength of the squad, Willie is a great option for us and we want to see him in action. We have had this system in place since the start of the season - it is also applies to the forwards."
The inclusion of Walker is one of two changes from the backline that started against Worcester last Saturday. Try-scorer James Simpson-Daniel misses out with a hamstring injury that means Leon Lloyd returns to the wing to face his former club.
Iain Balshaw is still out with a groin strain, while Lesley Vainikolo recovers from muscle damage in his neck. Mark Foster returns to the bench.
Walker will be partnered at half-back by scrum-half Mike Prendergast, Mike Tindall and Anthony Allen line-up in the centre, while Lloyd, James Bailey and Olly Morgan complete the back three.
On the bench, Wales scrum-half Gareth Cooper will be included in the squad for the first time following his World Cup commitments with Wales and there is also a place for lock Will James.
Ryan has also made one change to his forward pack - rotating his front row options by include prop Patrice Collazo at loose-head in place of Nick Wood. Collazo's last start was against Leeds on the opening weekend of the season.
Olivier Azam will make his 100th Premiership appearance tomorrow at hooker. Carlos Nieto is at loose-head.
Skipper Peter Buxton retains the number four shirt alongside Alex Brown in the second row, while Alasdair Strokosch, Andy Hazell and Luke Narraway form the back row combination.
On the bench, Gloucester have opted for a four-three forward split, including a complete front row. Wood will be joined by Christian Califano and hooker Andy Titterrell, while James completes Ryan's forward options.
Foster is the cover for centre and wing, Cooper comes into the squad for the first time, while Lamb completes the 22.
"We have made a very encouraging start and so have Leicester so it has got all the makings of a very attractive game," Ryan said. "Players are coming back from World Cup duty and the important thing for us now is that they enhance what we have already achieved since the start of the season.
"Leicester have been massively depleted by World Cup commitments but as befits a club of their strength, have made a great start. We are all looking forward to this contest - Welford Road is a great place to play rugby, both teams are playing well and it should be a great occasion.
Gloucester supporters are reminded that the Shed Bar will be open from 1.30pm on Saturday to show England's World Cup quarter-final against Australia before Gloucester's game against Leicester. All draught beers £2.50.
GLOUCESTER (v Leicester, tomorrow 6pm): Olly Morgan; Leon Lloyd, Mike Tindall, Anthony Allen, James Bailey; Willie Walker, Mike Prendergast; Patrice Collazo, Olivier Azam, Carlos Nieto, Peter Buxton (capt), Alex Brown, Alasdair Strokosch, Andy Hazell, Luke Narraway. Reps: Andy Titterrell, Christian Califano, Nick Wood, Will James, Gareth Cooper, Mark Foster, Ryan Lamb.
Gloucester Rugby return to Aviva Premiership action on Friday evening after two rounds of European fixtures. A testing trip to Northampton lies in wait, a tough challenge, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys wants to see his side continue their development of recent weeks.
GRTV travelled to Sixways on Wednesday morning, for the Urban Rugby Squad Festival, where the Gloucester Urban Rugby Squad met other Premiership teams. Young players from Cinderford Fire Cadets and MY:UK, Gloucester made up the Cherry and White squad.
GRTV FEATURE | We caught up with Rugby Development Manager Terry Fanolua on Monday morning, on the first day of the Half Term Rugby Camps at Wycliffe College. Fanolua spoke about what was in store ahead of a busy week on the pitch! Check out the GoPro footage as we got up close to the action!
Speaking after the 37-8 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Benetton Treviso, James Hook admitted that the Italian side made things tough for Gloucester at times but that the Cherry and Whites are happy to take the bonus point win and turn their focus to Northampton next week.
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.