Mariano Galarza and Ross Moriarty are both back from injury as Gloucester entertain the Newcastle Falcons at Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership (Saturday, kick off 3pm). Willi Heinz will skipper the side from scrum-half.
The Cherry and Whites make five changes to the side that started the impressive victory at Sale Sharks last Friday evening.
Heinz, who enjoyed an excellent preseason, gets an opportunity at scrum-half, with Greig Laidlaw named amongst the replacements, in the only change to the back line.
In the pack, Paddy McAllister gets the nod at loosehead and Galarza and Moriarty return in place of Joe Latta and Lewis Ludlow respectively. The final change sees Jacob Rowan come in to the back row for Matt Kvesic, who gets the week off after suffering a large facial cut at Sale.
The visiting Falcons have experienced a similar start to the season as Gloucester so far – victory over Sale and a painful narrow defeat to Leicester featuring in their results.
Backs Coach Tim Taylor was on media duty this week and acknowledged that the Falcons are a dangerous proposition.
“They’re a very good side. They had a good win against Sale first up, travelled to Bath who played some great rugby and then, last week, showed what they can do against Leicester and felt they could have won that game.
“They’re very physical, they have good width in their attack and have a dangerous back three which we’ll need to stay on top of.”
And he admitted that the win at Sale last week was reward for improving displays.
“It’s been building for a while. We started really well against Leicester and showed some great attack. We showed some great intent against Worcester, we just needed to build on our game management and our skill execution.
“We’ve been moving in the right direction for a long time and it was great to put a win on the board at Sale.”
15. Tom Marshall; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Matt Scott, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. Billy Burns, 9. Willi Heinz (capt); 1. Paddy McAllister, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. John Afoa; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Mariano Galarza; 6. Ross Moriarty, 7. Jacob Rowan, 8. Ben Morgan
16. Darren Dawidiuk, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Paul Doran-Jones, 19. Joe Latta, 20. Gareth Evans, 21. Greig Laidlaw, 22. James Hook, 23. Billy Twelvetrees