The Ireland A international is in line for his 10th appearance of the season for Tigers as head coach Pat Howard shuffles his pack after an intense period of fixtures at club and international level.
"We need a win to keep the pressure on Gloucester at the top of the table and keep away from the teams behind us," said Hickie. "We are going through a good phase at the moment and we obviously want to keep that going.
"This is a massive opportunity for the guys who have a point to prove and want to keep themselves in the frame. It is a very intense run-in to the end of the season but we have a large squad and everybody is eager to play well.
"Thankfully we are in a situation where we are still in all three competitions, and the guys will get their chance to prove what they can do."
The 26-year-old has had to wait for his chances since moving from Worcester Warriors at the end of last season but has been involved in the first-team squad for seven of the last eight games.
As he prepared to line up in the front row alongside internationals Marcos Ayerza and Martin Castrogiovanni at Edgeley Park, he said: "Some things took a little while to get going and I was frustrated for a little while by injuries. But the last couple of months have been injury-free and I have been getting a chance. I am happy enough to say things are going quite well for me now."
A few more victories in the run-in to the end of the season would not do any harm on that score either.