Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Dean Hammond handed first Warriors start in Oyonnax test
12:10pm Friday 11th October 2013 in Sport
DEAN Hammond will make his first start for Warriors in tomorrow’s Amlin Challenge Cup clash with Oyonnax (6.30pm).
The South African will line-up on the wing for the Sixways side as director of rugby Dean Ryan gives seven players their first starts of the season.
Paul Warwick is named at fly-half for his first competitive start in Warriors colours, while fellow summer signing Cam Goodhue also makes the starting 15 for the first time.
Chris Brooker, who has recently returned to action following a long-term lay-off, is named at hooker.
There are also places for Alex Grove, Richard de Carpentier and Ben Howard, while recent recruit Mariano Galarza could feature from the bench.
Ryan said: “We’ve talked about trying to find our base game over the next two weeks - knowing what it is and being confident in it.
“Ambitions in the Amlin Challenge Cup are to be competitive but, at the same time, to see the youngsters progress. If we achieve that, then I will be really pleased.
“It’ll be a huge test for us in Oyonnax and I understand it is quite an intimidating environment. So it’s a classic case of needing to see our youngsters grow and some of our senior guys front-up.
“Any side that beats Toulon and Clermont is recognisable as a huge challenge. Whether they play the same team or not, these guys clearly have a proud home record.
“Whether you’re first-choice, second-choice or an academy kid at Oyonnax, I’d imagine your responsibility is to uphold that home record.
“This two-week window also gives us a chance to integrate some of our new guys and hopefully James Percival will be coming back very soon, which will change the nature of the side.”
Warriors: Howard; Hammond, Grove, Matavesi, Lemi; Warwick, Su’a; Porter, Brooker, Andress, Schofield, Jones, de Carpentier, Abbott, Goodhue. Replacements: Shervington, Becasseau, O’Donnell, Galarza, Thomas, Arr, Mieres, Stelling.