Former captain of the Lions and South Africa international Jaco Kriel makes his debut on the Gloucester Rugby team on Friday. He has been named on the bench for the Premiership Rugby Cup fixture against Bristol at Ashton Gate.
Kriel has been recovering from a shoulder injury he sustained in 2017 while playing for the Springboks against Australia.
Two other players who also sustained injuries, Ollie Thorley and Gareth Denman are set to play for the first time this season on Friday. While Denman has been named on the bench, Thorley is fixed to start on the left wing.
There are seven changes to the starting lineup by the Gloucester team. Some of the senior stars will return as Henry Tinder is set to make his 150th competitive appearance for the club.
Joe Mullis forwards as hooker, while Gerbrandt Grobler will stay in the starting line-up to partner Alex Craig in the second row.
Tom Hudson comes in at full-back, while Owen Williams will play his first start of the season at fly-half.
The head of the coaching team, Richard Whiffin is optimistic about the match against the Bristol Bears on Friday evening. On their performance against Wasps a week ago, he said, “there were a lot of young guys making their debuts, the weather wasn’t great and there were a lot of skill errors but I was happy that, for 79 minutes of the game, we shut them out.
“For us, it’s an opportunity for the younger guys and the guys coming back in after injury to put their hands up for selection in the Premiership weeks that follow.”