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Worcester Warriors skipper Jonathan Thomas calls for away day support
WARRIORS skipper Jonathan Thomas has issued a rallying cry for the Sixways club’s fans to flock to the Madejski Stadium in their droves this weekend.
Rock-bottom Worcester travel to London Irish — the side one place and 10 points above them in the table — on Saturday (3pm) and desperately need to pick up their first Aviva Premiership win of the season.
Dean Ryan’s men are without a victory away from Sixways in two years, but former Wales international Thomas, who is refusing to contemplate losing to their relegation rivals, believes the Warriors faithful can make the difference against the Exiles.
Worcester’s captain said: “Our fans have been outstanding all season — I have always said that — and it would be great if we could get a large number making the trip down to Reading to support the lads.
“Playing your home games at a place like the Madejski Stadium can work against you and it was a similar situation when I was with the Ospreys.
“The playing surfaces at these football stadiums are so good that the away teams really enjoy playing at them and it hands them an extra incentive.
“Also, these 25,000-seater stadiums often have a pretty soulless atmosphere when they are not very full and that can work to our advantage if we can get loads of vocal Worcester supporters to the game.
“Hopefully, there will be plenty of Warriors fans making the trip and giving us the usual great support.”
Worcester lost 26-8 to league leaders Saracens at Sixways on Saturday, putting on a stubborn display during a pointless second-half. Second-from-bottom Irish suffered a disappointing 22-19 home defeat to fellow strugglers Gloucester the next day.
Thomas added: “Saturday is a massive game for us.
“People talk about games being ‘eight-pointers’ and this is, without doubt, one of those. If we can win then, all of a sudden, we will only be five or six points behind Irish and that is nothing.
“It is not worth talking about losing the game as that would put us in a really difficult situation going forward.
“We just need to focus on winning — we are certainly capable of doing that and are full of confidence.
“We have to make it about us and not London Irish, but they are a proud side and the game will matter a lot to them too. I am certain it will be a real humdinger of a match.
“I missed out on playing against Saracens because I didn’t pass the concussion protocols after getting a knock to my head against Gloucester, but hopefully I should be back fit for Irish.”