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.
Named Man of the Match by BT Sport, scrum-half Willi Heinz said after the 15-11 win at Bath on Friday evening that it was a pretty happy Gloucester dressing room and reward for a lot of hard work put in during the week leading up to the game.
Speaking after the 15-11 win over Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, David Humphreys heaped praise on his players, pointing out how they had bounced back after last week's tough defeat to overcome a rough start before controlling the game and earning the win.
Gloucester Rugby hooker Richard Hibbard spoke to the local media this week as the Cherry and Whites prepare to face Bath Rugby in the Aviva Premiership. The Welshman is ready to bounce back at The Rec.
Speaking to the local media about the local derby against Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys acknowledged that it will be a tough encounter but hugely exciting at the same time and one the squad are looking forward to.
A visibly disappointed Billy Twelvetrees admitted that it was a very sombre Gloucester dressing room as a last minute try and conversion condemned the Cherry and Whites to an 18-19 defeat against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
A disappointed Tom Savage told GRTV, after the 18-19 defeat at home to the Leicester Tigers, that the whole Gloucester team had put in a fantastic effort, but just couldn't find the extra one or two percent necessary to put away a top side.
Speaking after the narrow loss to Leicester Tigers on Saturday afternoon, David Humphreys says despite there being a lot of good in Gloucester's performance, he rued the failure to close the game out, as well as thanking the home support
Kiwi second row Jeremy Thrush is thoroughly enjoying his time in Cherry and White so far, and this weekend the Leicester Tigers are the visitors to Kingsholm, and the All Black is massively excited about the challenge.
After two wins in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, securing a home quarter-final, David Humphreys told the local media this week that Gloucester are coming into Saturday's game in good physical shape having rotated the squad. However, he and the squad are prepared for a tough encounter against the Tigers.
It's almost four years since Gloucester won a Premiership game at the Rec against Bath. However, they got that monkey off their back on Friday evening with a hard-fought 15-11 win in testing conditions.