THE only two survivors from the last time Durham met Gloucestershire in championship action in 2003 will be opposing captains at Bristol today.

If Paul Collingwood opts for a toss of the coin on what is expected to be a good pitch the man doing the spinnings will be his predecessor as Durham skipper, Phil Mustard.

After being released by Durham following his 13-year career, the wicketkeeper is in temporary charge of Gloucestershire while Gareth Roderick recovers from illness.

Collingwood and Mustard were both in the Durham team in 2003, when Gloucestershire were promoted. They were relegated two years later, the season in which Durham went up.

Leicestershire and Glamorgan are the two other teams Durham never encountered during their record 11-year run in the top flight.

They have been to Bristol a few times since for one-day matches, most recently when they won a NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final there last season.

But Collingwood will be reminded of how much things have changed since the last four-day visit when he recalls that he was Durham's third seamer, in support of Shoaib Akhtar and 18-year-old Liam Plunkett.

Durham evidently expected the pitch to turn as they included Nicky Phillips and Graeme Bridge.

But while Phillips had match figures of two for 190, Gloucestershire's left-arm spinner Ian Fisher took five in both innings.

The hosts won by 126 runs, helped by centuries in both innings from Jonty Rhodes. Australian Martin Love made 98 and 97 for Durham.

Durham coach Jon Lewis, who was captain at the time, was not planning any changes following the opening defeat by Nottinghamshire. But Jack Burnham broke a thumb in the nets on Tuesday and Graham Clark joins the squad after three successive centuries for the second team.

“There is no need to over-react at this early stage,” said Lewis. “It was a disappointing debut for Stephen Cook, but it's always going to be tough at Riverside in mid-April against a strong attack. We under-achieved in certain areas and we need to be better.”

Gloucestershire lost their opening match in Kent then beat Leicestershire by an innings inside three days at Bristol with 25-year-old Cornish seamer Liam Norwell earning match figures of ten for 99.

He has claimed 18 wickets in two matches – five more than any other bowler in division two.

Head coach Richard Dawson, the former Yorkshire off-spinner, said: “Liam has improved year after year. He is a strapping lad and bowls a perfect length, aiming for the top of off-stump. He gets a lot of nicks.”

Gloucestershire's attack also includes Teessider Chris Liddle, who at 33 had played only 27 first-class matches prior to this season after being used as a one-day bowler by Sussex.

Dawson added: “Durham are effectively a first division side and they are going to provide a great test of where we are as a team.”

Durham (from): P Collingwoood, K Jennings, C Steel, G Clark, M Richardson, P Coughlin, S Poynter, R Pringle, M Wood, G Onions, C Rushworth, B Carse.

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