Gloucester Rugby are today able to provisionally confirm their preseason opponents as the squad prepare for the 2009-10 season.
Preseason kicks off with a fixture against local rivals Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on August 15th.
This is no ordinary preseason friendly but will acknowledge the service of one of Gloucester Rugby's most loyal servants as it will be Andrew Hazell's testimonial match.
It could be said that no fixture against Bath ever be considered a friendly(!), but such an opponent seems appropriate for Hazell's big day.
Irish province Connacht will be the visitors to Kingsholm a week later with Gloucester's third and final preseason fixture taking place against the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium over August Bank Holiday weekend.
Kick off times will be confirmed at a later date whilst the exact date of the Ospreys fixture will be confirmed once Swansea City's fixture list has been confirmed.
Locking horns with the Welsh province will whet the appetite with the most recent meeting, of course, having been the EDF Energy Cup semi final at the Ricoh Stadium in March this year.
But the teams have also seen plenty of each other in recent seasons in the Heineken Cup and the group stages of the EDF Energy Cup and it's always a competitive fixture.
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.
Following the recent announcement that XBlades were to become the club's new kit and leisurewear partner, Gloucester Rugby can today (Tuesday 30 June) confirm the opening of a new retail unit, based at Gloucester Quays Outlet Centre, as well as the launch of a brand new online shop.