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.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-29 Aviva A League win over Wasps Rugby, Academy Coach Rich Whiffin explained his pride in the squad to overcome a strong opponent and book their spot in next week's Aviva A League final.
Willi Heinz returned from injury to skipper Gloucester to a famous 16-14 win over Stade Rochelais on Saturday evening. Speaking after the game in France, Heinz admitted the win wasn't pretty but was full of courage and a great result for the club.
Billy Burns contributed all Gloucester's points in the 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening, but dedicated the victory to the whole squad whilst also praising the travelling support.
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Speaking to GRTV after Saturday's 39-30 Aviva Premiership win over Sale, Mark Atkinson admitted that the performance wasn't perfect but that the team's character shone through in a game that could easily have slipped away.
Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw is targeting a 'unique' finish to his Gloucester tenure in the European Rugby Challenge Cup final at the venue where his professional playing career began, BT Murrayfield Stadium (Friday 12 May).