ZIMBABWE-born powerhouse Mike Williams plans to use the forthcoming cup matches to convince Warriors boss Dean Ryan he deserves a place in the Worcester starting XV when the Aviva Premiership returns next month.

Warriors round off their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with a visit from French Top 14 outfit Oyonnax today (3pm) before back-to-back LV= Cup clashes at Sale Sharks and then at home to Exeter Chiefs.

The 22-year-old second-row enforcer has made a good impression since moving to Sixways from South Africa in the summer and has already made 14 appearances in all competitions.

However, he is aware competition for a starting spot is fierce with the likes of James Percival, Mariano Galarza and Dean Schofield all in the mix.

Williams said: “I can learn a lot from Percy, Mariano and Schoey because they have a lot of experience, but I think I have definitely grown as a player this year.

“I’ve played nine times in the Premiership this season and I feel like I’m growing week-in week-out.

"With the Amlin and LV= Cup it is a bit of an opportunity for me now to try and impress and hopefully I can get myself back into the side for Premiership contention.”

Oyonnax visit Sixways this weekend and Williams knows it will be a physical battle against the French side.

He continued: “It was tough against them in France, but we matched them in the forwards in difficult conditions.

“Any French side are going to be tough up front and conditions could well play a part this weekend. If it is wet and windy, we can expect another forward-orientated game.”

Williams played alongside Schofield in the second row at Sale Sharks last weekend and admitted the forward pack will need to produce a solid display up front if they are to win today.

He added: “We will have to match them and hopefully we can get some ball to our backs for them to deliver.

“Obviously with us coming away from the Premiership for a few weeks there have been changes and boys have been given opportunities to play.

“There are some individuals that haven’t played together before, but there were periods of the game against Sale where we showed some promise and hopefully we can build on that this weekend.”