GLOUCESTER have brought back the big guns for the LV= Cup clash with London Welsh at Kingsholm tomorrow (4.30pm).
After opening the campaign with a narrow 33-27 defeat at Ospreys last weekend, director of rugby Nigel Davies knows a win is a must.
As a result Freddie Burns, Billy Twelvetrees, Jimmy Cowan, Shane Monahan and Mike Tindall come into the backs to accompany Rob Cook and young Hartpury wing Steph Reynolds who performed well against Fiji.
In the pack Nick Wood, Huia Edmonds, Rupert Harden, Tom Savage, Will James, Akapusi Qera and Ben Morgan come in with just Matt Cox keeping his spot at seven.
Seven of the players that started against Fiji are rewarded with spots amongst the replacements as the coaching team look to freshen things up ahead of their third match in eight days.
Having had last weekend off at the Liberty Stadium, the 12 changes need a good run out with the Premiership resuming at home to Sale next weekend.
After edging out tomorrow’s opponents at the Kassam Stadium at the end of September, forwards coach Carl Hogg says a good performance is vital with so many line-up alterations.
“First and foremost, we’re going into the game looking for a performance. We can’t get carried away with outcomes,” said Hogg.
“London Welsh gave us a very tough time down there in the Aviva Premiership. There were one or two critical moments where we managed to get on top down there.
“They’re a very difficult team to break down and bring different challenges. We need to perform well on Saturday, get our first 20 minutes right and see where the game takes us.
“But, we’re under no illusions. It’s a very tough task against London Welsh at the weekend.”
Gloucester Rugby: Rob Cook; Shane Monahan, Mike Tindall (capt), Billy Twelvetrees, Steph Reynolds; Freddie Burns, Jimmy Cowan; Nick Wood, Huia Edmonds, Rupert Harden; Tom Savage, Will James; Akapusi Qera, Matt Cox, Ben Morgan. Replacements: Koree Britton, Dan Murphy, Dario Chistolini, Peter Buxton, Ross Moriarty, Dave Lewis, Tim Molenaar, Drew Locke