NEW Worcester women's captain Lyndsay O’Donnell expects the 2019-20 Tyrrells Premier 15s to be more competitive than ever.

Saturday's trip to last season’s semi-finalists Wasps presents an early challenge for Warriors (3pm) but O’Donnell, 26, knows those tests will determine how the campaign will unfold.

“This season will definitely be a turning point,” she said.

“It’s the end of that three-year initial period since the league changed and everyone’s going to be striving to peak this year to show how much they’ve improved.

“Hopefully it’s going to be even more competitive than previous years.

“We want to build on what we’ve done in the last two years and I’m really confident that with the girls we’ve got and how they’ve developed we’re going to be pushing for a higher league finish.

“Ideally we’ll be aiming for a mid-table finish or higher if we can but we want to be realistic in managing those expectations as well.”

Scotland forward O’Donnell's team finished bottom last season with just two wins from 18 games.

But she is relishing her new role and remains confident Warriors can give a better account of themselves.

“It’s a bit of a step-up for me captaining the side this year so I’m going to try to take that in my stride as much as I can,” she added.

“I’ve got a bit more to think about during the game so more game management from myself is something I’ll work on.

“I’m really excited for it to all get going, it can’t come quicker and I think we’ve all had enough of pre-season training now.

“We’re now ready to get out there and show what we’ve been working on over the summer.”

O’Donnell added: “It’s brilliant how much women’s rugby is growing. It’s good to get people who’ve never even been watching rugby before involved.

“It’s really encouraging to see how many young girls are following what the women’s teams are doing and hopefully it will be a bit of inspiration for them to follow their own rugby careers.

“England women have really built on their numbers and support is growing and I think that’s something we need to capitalise on.”

Tyrrells Premier 15s is the top-flight women’s domestic rugby union competition in England.

For all the latest news from Tyrrells Premier 15s follow @Premier15s on Twitter.