SECOND row James Hudson will captain Gloucester Rugby for the first time as the Cherry and Whites return to Aviva Premiership action at Sale Sharks tomorrow evening (Friday).

Former Newcastle Falcons captain Hudson leads out the side because first choice skipper Tom Savage is injured and alternative choice Billy Twelvetrees is away on Six Nations duty with England.

The Gloucester team boasts six changes to the one that defeated London Wasps last weekend.

Nick Wood continues at loose head, but is joined by Darren Dawidiuk and Sila Puafisi in the front row, while Elliott Stooke is back from England Saxons duty and will partner Hudson in the second row.

The back row combination of Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Cox and Gareth Evans is unchanged.

There is a new half back pairing in Jimmy Cowan and Freddie Burns, also back from the Saxons. Ryan Mills moves from fly half to inside centre.

The final change is Charlie Sharples resuming his usual right wing berth, Martyn Thomas switching from right wing to left.

Sale came to Kingsholm and won on the opening weekend of the season, but the Gloucester director of rugby insists that his side have moved on.

"They came here and got a result. But, when we look at the performance, they scored two tries from set piece and that was the difference.

"Overall the performance indicators showed that we probably should have won that game. But, when you give two sloppy tries away from scrums in the first phase, that can skew things. They've scored a few that way against us and will be looking to do the same again.

"But I think we're in a different place now. We've had a hard couple of months, but I firmly believe we've come through that.

Gloucester Rugby: Rob Cook; Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder, Ryan Mills, Martyn Thomas; Freddie Burns, Jimmy Cowan; Nick Wood, Darren Dawidiuk, Sila Puafisi; Elliott Stooke, James Hudson (capt), Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Cox, Gareth Evans.

Replacements: Koree Britton, Yann Thomas, Rupert Harden, Will James, Matt Kvesic, Tavis Knoyle, Dan Robson, Shane Monahan.