Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Fans favourite Classens back for Warriors Italian job
FANS favourite Errie Claassens returns to the Warriors starting XV for Saturday’s Amlin Challenge Cup encounter with Italian outfit Rovigo at Sixways (3pm).
The full-back or wing has been sidelined for almost two months since injuring his knee in pre-season and his exciting, counter-attacking style of play will be a welcome boost to the side.
Worcester will be looking to take maximum points in Europe for the second week running after the 13-try 85-5 demolition of Spanish minnows Bizkaia Gernika last time out to keep qualification on course for a Perpignan-Warriors showdown.
Head coach Richard Hill will recall a host of first team stars after they were rested last weekend, while the lengthy injury list has receded to just four players now.
“Neil Best took a blow to his knee last week but is available if we want to use him. Shaun Perry, Danny Gray, Josh Drauniniu and Nikki Walker are still out,” Hill said.
“Errie will be back in the team. We will start with him and I’m delighted by that. It seems a long time that he has been out injured.
“He played exceptional well when he started here and we are very excited about him being back in the team for us.”
As well as Claassens, Hill also revealed that both Matt Kvesic and Andy Short will also start against the Italians, while the likes of Matt Mullan, Andy Goode, James Percival, Aleki Lutui and Sam Betty are all back in contention.
Hill added: “Jake Abbott has come back and also put a cat among the pigeons. There is suddenly a bit more urgency in training with more competition.
“We want to get out of the group and we are taking this competition seriously. We need a big win before the two crucial games with Perpignan.
“Rovigo gave Perpignan a tough game for 25 minutes before they fell away so they are obviously very competitive from the start and will take a bit of breaking down.
“The danger is you take them too lightly but I am sure that will not be the case. The players appear to have a very professional attitude.
“After the six Aviva Premiership games the squad were very serious about going to Spain and doing a good job. They did that and I expect another very professional performance on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Warriors winger David Lemi has been named as Samoa’s captain for their November tour, which includes matches against Canada, Wales and France. Should Lemi play in all three, he would miss two of Warriors’ LV= Cup games, as well as the Aviva Premiership match with Saracens.