FLY-HALF Jono Lance believes struggling Newcastle Falcons will be a “different beast” when Worcester Warriors arrive at Kingston Park for their basement battle tomorrow (3pm).

Ten months after playing in the Gallagher Premiership play-offs Falcons find themselves fighting to retain their top-flight status.

Lance said it was a “big surprise” to see Newcastle languishing at the foot of the table after losing 11 of their 14 games.

Warriors are nine points clear of Falcons and can take a huge step towards survival with victory in the north-east.

But Lance is wary of the challenge facing Worcester who lost 23-20 to Dean Richards’ side at Sixways in September.

“You look at how well they went last year, making the final four to getting into the European Champions Cup this season,” Lance said.

“It’s a big surprise (to see them at the bottom) as they are a quality outfit and a different beast up in Newcastle.

“We will need to have our best game to get a win and it’s all about the preparation to go and do that.

“As there is a lot riding on this game they will have a good crowd.

“They will want to get stuck into us and create a good atmosphere.

“We have spoken about how every Premiership game is challenging but the fact this is two teams in a similar position in the table just adds a bit more to it.

“We will prepare well and enjoy the trip up there.

“You don’t get to do too many long trips in the Premiership so it will be good for the guys to get up there the day before, enjoy each other’s company, have dinner, bond as a group and rip in tomorrow.”

Warriors have lost on their past two visits to Falcons’ home including a heavy 35-8 defeat on the opening day of last season.

But on this occasion Worcester make the journey on the back of a morale-boosting 17-13 victory over Leicester Tigers last weekend.

“We have spoken about (winning) a lot as we want to be looking up the table and picking teams to leapfrog each weekend,” Lance said.

“This is a massive occasion for us and the same goes for them.”

Worcester trailed Tigers 10-3 at half-time but battled back in the second period with a Francois Hougaard try and last-gasp score from Tom Howe.

It was the fourth time in 2019 that Warriors had come from behind to win in the dying seconds and Lance is excited by the side’s never-say-die attitude.

“We have made winning in the last few minutes a habit,” Lance, who is on the bench for tomorrow's game, added.

“The ability to keep switched on and play like we did in those last few minutes is definitely something which is exciting going forward.

“The most exciting thing is that it has been someone different stepping up to the mark.

“Tommy scored in the corner but in the build-up it was Bryce (Heem) coming in at first receiver and Francois Venter in at half-back.

“When you look back to the Bath game Bryce scored off a Ryan Mills pass from the platform of a scrum so it is not one person who is performing in the 80th minute to save us, it is the whole team.”