Charlie Hodgson is expecting a challenging return to the Aviva Premiership when Sale host Wasps at Edgeley Park on Friday night.
The England and Sale fly-half will be making his first appearance of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery during the summer.
"It will be tough. I feel a bit rusty but I've done a lot of training. I'm trying to get used to it as much as possible, but there's no substitute for match fitness and practice," said Hodgson.
"There's only a certain amount of fitness and rehab you can do and obviously that will continue, but it's nice to be back on the field."
Former Ulster and Harlequins flanker Neil McMillan makes his debut for Sale, while Andy Tuilagi returns at outside centre.
Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks has demanded a response from his team, who sit third from bottom in the Premiership table, after they were edged 22-20 at Gloucester last weekend.
"We were disappointed not to win last weekend and need to ensure we put things right on Friday," he said.
England centre Mike Tindall returns to captain Gloucester in Friday's clash with west country rivals Bath at the Recreation Ground.
Tindall is restored to the starting line-up after being named as a replacement against Wasps, while injury has resulted in Gloucester fielding a new half-back pairing of Dave Lewis and Nicky Robinson.
Bath make just one change following their 31-16 victory over Sale, with Matt Banahan replacing Tom Biggs on the left wing.