CAPTAIN Donncha O’Callaghan has called on his team-mates to show “backbone” as Worcester Warriors prepare to face a “dangerous” Wasps side on Sunday (3pm).

The veteran lock believes Warriors demonstrated “a weakness” in their sorry 35-8 defeat at Newcastle Falcons and reckons their Midlands rivals will be out to get them at Sixways.

But he insisted it was now a test of Worcester’s players’ character as they bid to bounce back in the Aviva Premiership.

“We will have to pick ourselves up and take our medicine,” O’Callaghan said.

“The thing about this league is it is ruthless and we have shown a weakness now. There is blood in the water and teams will come for us.

“But we have got to show a bit of backbone now.

“(The performance at Falcons) was unacceptable from us but we will learn a lot about ourselves over the next few days. It will be a character test.”

Warriors made a catalogue of handling mistakes and missed tackles in their opening-day defeat at Kingston Park.

But O’Callaghan feels his side will need to improve in all departments if they are to compete against teams in the top flight this term.

“It is a tough league and it gets harder every week,” Callaghan continued.

“We have put ourselves behind the eight ball now.

“I know if I was in the opposition team and you saw a performance like that by a team you are playing next week you would fancy it and you would go after them.

“So we need to tighten up on all our rugby. We have got a great group but we just didn’t reflect it last week.

“It is hard to talk about our potential and what we could do as there is only one place you are ever judged and that’s on the pitch.

“So we can talk all we want but they are hollow words at the moment because if you look at that performance (against Newcastle) it was nowhere near good enough.”

Wasps finished top of the table last season, scoring 89 tries in 22 games before losing 23-20 to Exeter Chiefs in a thrilling Premiership final.

But having opened their campaign with a thumping 50-35 win over Sale Sharks last weekend O’Callaghan is confident the Coventry side will be stronger this term.

“They will be dangerous this season,” the ex-Munster and Ireland star said.

“They have gone through the hurt of the past few years that drives you on as a squad to achieve great things.

“I think losing last year’s final will be fuel for them and they will be a force in the Premiership and in Europe.

“They have got a quality squad so if we put in a performance like we produced at Newcastle against any opposition in the league we will get those types of outcomes.

“We will have to pull our socks up.”