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Ryan looks to Grove to expand his Warriors midfield options
THE return to fitness of centre Alex Grove can ease the pressure on Warriors’ limited midfield resources, according to director of rugby Dean Ryan.
Scotland international Grove, who scored a comeback try in Worcester Cavaliers’ ‘A’ League thrashing of Sale Jets on Monday, has not featured under Ryan yet because of injury, but is now back in the mix.
Fijian duo Josh Matavesi and Ravai Fatiaki have been the sole occupants of the 12 and 13 jerseys this term.
Former Northampton Saints man Jon Clarke could also help out but has been on the periphery since Ryan arrived, while new academy recruit Dean Hammond, who can play centre or wing, was handed a surprise place on the bench at Wasps last weekend.
Ryan said: “I was delighted with Grovesy against Sale – he isn’t an ‘A’ League player, he’s a first-team player who has been out injured.
“The ability to change Josh and Rav, who have played every minute of the season so far, will be crucial.
“Things are getting stronger – (James) Percival is on the horizon and there are a couple of guys coming back.
“Paul Warwick and Grovesy are both back for selection this weekend, so we are in a better space than we were three or four weeks ago in terms of numbers.
“It is still early days in terms of this group but we have some players coming into the side who will strengthen our situation – the likes of Agustin Creevy, Leo Senatore and Mariano Galarza – and that will give us better choices.
“It would be great to do that off the back of a win this weekend.”
Dean Richards' Newcastle Falcons visit Sixways for a crunch Aviva Premiership clash today (3pm) and Ryan is expecting a titanic tussle.
He said: “Newcastle have had a year together with coaches such as John Wells and Dean, plus a year’s investment and they’ve signed some good kids up – people like Dominic Barrow, who they have picked up from Leeds.
“Dean is an outstanding director of rugby, so 14 to 15 months after starting that project, he would expect his side to be pretty resilient and they are showing that.
“They are strong in the set-piece and put a lot of pressure on you. There are no doubts it is a big game, we need to get a win, simple as that.
“We need to get something going at home and build off the back of that.”
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