Gloucester Rugby head coach George Skivington welcomes back his internationals from Six Nations duty as they warm up for a Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 tie at Stade Rochelais with a Gallagher Premiership trip to Newcastle Falcons on Friday.
The Cherry & Whites, who travel to Stade Marcel Deflandre on April 1, are boosted by the return of Wales back Louis Rees-Zammit and Italy scrum-half Stephen Varney.
Rees-Zammit joins Ollie Thorley and Lloyd Evans in the back three, while Varney starts inside Santi Carreras in the half-backs.
Skivington makes just one change in the pack from the defeat by Leicester Tigers two weeks ago, with Harry Elrington replacing Val Rapava-Ruskin at loosehead prop. Argentinian international Mayco Vivas is set for his Gloucester debut from the bench.
Ahead of the knockouts here's a #ThrowbackThursday to the HISTORIC pool stage 😍
Full recap of the #HeinekenChampionsCup season so far ➡️ https://t.co/gaApMwxUKf pic.twitter.com/CAZNWSnriy
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) March 23, 2023
In the BKT United Rugby Championship, DHL Stormers also welcome back a host of internationals for their trip to Leinster Rugby in Dublin on Friday, prior to their Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 home tie with Harlequins on April 1.
Captain Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Marvin Orie and Damian Willemse all make their return for the top-of-the table encounter at the RDS Arena. Hacjivah Dayimani is also back in the starting line-up at No.8.
Meanwhile, Rob Russell replaces the injured Jamie Osborne in Leinster’s only change from the bonus-point win over Edinburgh Rugby earlier this month.
Ciarán Frawley moves from full-back to inside centre, with Jordan Larmour switching from the right wing to full-back to accommodate Russell’s return in the No.14 shirt.
Leinster, who rest their Grand Slam-winning heroes, host Ulster Rugby in the Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 on April 1.