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.
Tom Savage delivered a Man of the Match performance against Exeter Chiefs on his birthday on Saturday evening. He spoke to GRTV after the game about the importance of the European Rugby Challenge Cup win.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
The Gloucester Rugby Ticket office can advise that the club's initial allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final has sold out. However, the club has secured an additional allocation of tickets from EPCR which will go on sale on Monday.
Following Saturday evening's exciting European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs, the Ticket Office at Kingsholm will be open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm for Club Members to purchase tickets for the Final.
Gloucester Rugby qualified for their first European final since 2006 as they defeated the in-form Exeter Chiefs by 30 points to 19 in a thrilling semi-final at Kingsholm on Saturday evening. The club photographer caught the best of the action.
Recent meetings between these two teams have often been thrillers, and this was no exception. It went down to the final few minutes, but Gloucester produced the goods when it mattered to qualify for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, beating Exeter 30-19.