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Ryan hands debuts to five Warriors at Welford Road
DIRECTOR of rugby Dean Ryan hands competitive debuts to five summer signings in Warriors' Aviva Premiership opener at Leicester Tigers on Sunday (2pm).
Captain Jonathan Thomas, Ignacio Mieres, Jeremy Su'a, Mike Williams and Jeremy Becasseau will all start at Welford Road as Ryan takes charge of his first top-flight match in over four years.
There is also a return to action for centre Ravai Fatiaki, who missed much of last season through injury. He will be partnered in midfield by fellow Fijian Josh Matavesi, with David Lemi, Josh Drauniniu and Chris Pennell completing the backline.
John Andress lines-up alongside Ed Shervington and Becasseau in the front row with Dean Schofield partnering Williams at lock.
Sam Betty and Semisi Taulava complete the back row as Warriors go head-to-head with last season's Aviva Premiership champions.
Ryan said: "We get going on Sunday and we have the challenge of facing Leicester Tigers at Welford Road - but it doesn't get any better than starting there.
"Leicester are champions and Welford Road is not an easy place to go at any time. But I think we will be more excited there than at any other stadium.
"We will gain ten per cent because we are fired up about being at Welford Road and we have a chance. That applies to every single game if we are competitive. We have got to be at our best and they have got to take us for granted - and it happens all the time.
Ryan added: "Competitive behaviour is something we have got to get in this club every time we take to the field and that doesn't matter where we are.”
Warriors: Pennell; Drauniniu, Fatiaki, Matavesi, Lemi; Mieres, Su'a; Becasseau, Shervington, Andress, Williams, Schofield, Thomas, Betty, Taulava. Replacements: Seymour, Andrew, O'Donnell, Jones, Abbott, Hodgson, Gray, Clarke.
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