Peter Buxton will return to his old stamping ground at Rodney Parade as captain of Gloucester in the LV=Cup opener on Thursday.
Peter Buxton will return to his old stamping ground, Rodney Parade, as captain of Gloucester in the opening round of the LV=Cup on Thursday.
Buxton will skipper the side from the blindside flank in a back row which will see summer signing Matt Cox make his first start for the club with Fijian Akapusi Qera starting at openside.
Also making their first starts of the season are scrum half Jordi Pasqualin and second row Dan Williams who is recalled from his loan spell at London Welsh.
Gloucester's backline is a real mixture of youth and experience with Henry Trinder, Jonny May, Freddie Burns and Jordi Pasqualin all aged 21 or under but backed up by an all international back three in Olly Morgan, Lesley Vainikolo and Tom Voyce.
The French connection of Olivier Azam and Pierre Capdevielle form two thirds of a front row alongside Alasdair Dickinson who is back from Scotland training while second row stalwart Alex Brown packs down alongside Williams in the second row.
Head Coach Bryan Redpath, previewing the fixture in midweek, acknowledged that winning on the road is always tough and that he's had to make some tough selection decisions this week.
“The pressure to perform in an away environment is huge, whatever the competition and whatever the personnel,” he said.
“The LV= Cup last year was big for us, and we lost out last year in a final, so when you get big days and finals like that, you want to repeat them – and that challenge starts again for us here on this front.”
Meanwhile, Dragons hooker Tom Willis will lead the men of Gwent.
Wales wing Aled Brew has been released to the region for the match and will start as Dragons head coach Paul Turner rings the changes.
Centre Tom Cooper, back row Jevon Groves, fly-half Steffan Jones, prop Dan Way and utility back Gareth Williams may get rare run-outs from the bench.
Dragons: 15 Pat Leach, 14 Adam Hughes, 13 Rhodri Gomer-Davies, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Matthew Jones, 10 James Leadbeater, Hugo Ellis, 7 Robin Sowden-Taylor, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Scott Morgan, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Pat Palmer, 2 Tom Willis (c), 1 Hugh Gustafson.
Replacements: 16 Lloyd Burns, 17 Dan Way, 18 Nigel Hall, 19 Rob Sidoli, 20 Jevon Groves, 21 Gareth Williams, 22 Tom Cooper, 23 Steffan Jones.
Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 Tom Voyce, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Jonny May, 11 Lesley Vainikolo, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jordi Pasqualin, 8 Matt Cox, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Peter Buxton (c), 5 Alex Brown, 4 Dan Williams, 3 Pierre Capdevielle, 2 Olivier Azam, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Rupert Harden, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Luke Narraway, 21 Rory Lawson, 22 Tim Taylor, 23 Charlie Sharples.
Date: Thursday 4 November
Venue: Rodney Parade
Kick-off: 19:35 GMT