WALES international Jonathan Thomas reckons Worcester Warriors could be the surprise package in the Aviva Premiership this season.

The back-rower has been nothing but impressed with his new surroundings since leaving Ospreys to link up with director of rugby Dean Ryan at Sixways.

He has been excited by the challenge of playing in the English top-flight for the first time in an illustrious career, which has brought two Six Nations Grand Slams with Wales.

Although he admits War-riors are at a disadvantage compared to their rivals when it comes to squad strength, Thomas feels there is a bond developing among the players that could make them a force to be feared.

He said: “I’ve been part of enough teams and organisations to know the difference between good and bad environments and one thing for certain is that there is an extremely good environment at this club that the coaches are creating.

“All the boys have responded to that. A lot of the lads who have been here a long time are speaking about how much they are enjoying it and the quality of coaching we’re receiving.

“We’re very excited about the season. We’re confident but at the same time, make no bones about it, we understand we haven’t got the best squad in the league and haven’t got the biggest budget.

“It’s going to be a tough season for us but if we stick to those core values that we speak about and are united then I think we can surprise people.

“This club is on a journey now. It won’t happen overnight but I think as long as we keep learning week to week and keep getting better then who knows what could happen.”

Thomas admits he is still finding his feet at Warriors but is relishing the prospect of playing in the cauldron of the Premiership.

The 30-year-old said: “The only time I’ve come across English club opposition is in the Heineken Cup so I’ve not known a huge amount about the squad but quite quickly I realised there’s huge potential here.

“We might be light on the ground in certain positions or not have the biggest of squads but I think we do have the ability to be very competitive."