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Worcester Warriors flex their muscles for Amlin Cup clash with Rovigo
HEAD coach Richard Hill has named a power-packed squad as Warriors aim to continue their flying start to the Amlin Challenge Cup against Rovigo at Sixways tomorrow (3pm).
The Worcester chief is aiming to keep the momentum going after the 85-5 win at Bizkaia Gernika as he makes eight changes to his starting line-up.
Errie Claassens will make his first start of the season at full-back, while Fiji international Ravai Fatiaki is named alongside Jon Clarke in midfield.
Hill makes four changes in the pack with Ed Shervington handed a first start of the campaign alongside Ceri Jones and James Currie in the front row.
Dean Schofield will captain the side in the second row, while Sam Betty and fit-again number eight Semisi Taulava join Matt Kvesic in the back row.
A powerful bench includes England ace Matt Mullan, who will make his 100th appearance for Worcester Warriors if he is involved in the game.
“We’ve seen footage of Rovigo and a lot of Italian teams are strong up front and robust,” said Hill. “We can’t go on to the field and suddenly throw the ball around and expect to score loads of tries from the word go. You have to do a job of softening them up because they will be very lively.
“They will be well organised and they’re treating it seriously, so the first 20 minutes you can expect to see from the Warriors a very direct style of play, trying to soften them up a bit with the forwards.
“Similar to what we did with Bizkaia Gernika, where we knew they’d be lively early on, we will aim to suck the life out of them and then start to play a bit of rugby.”
Warriors: Claassens; Short, Clarke, Fatiaki, Lemi; Carlisle, Arr; Ceri Jones, Shervington, Currie, Schofield, Gillies, Betty, Kvesic, Taulava. Replacements: Lutui, Mullan, Andress, Percival, Cowan, Hodgson, Goode, Matavesi.