MARC Thomas will make his Warriors debut in Saturday’s European Challenge Cup opener against Pau at the Stade du Hameau (kick-off 8.00pm GMT).

The experienced loosehead prop arrived at Sixways last month having started the 2019/20 season with Doncaster Knights and ended it at Harlequins.

Thomas will start at Pau and is one of 14 changes to the side that faced Bath Rugby in the Gallagher Premiership last Saturday.

Joe Batley, who started at lock against Bath, switches to the blindside flank alongside Sam Lewis, who will make his seasonal debut having recovered from a dead leg, and number eight Morgan Monks who will also make his first start having impressed off the bench against Bath.

Former Harlequins lock George Merrick will also make his first start and will be in familiar territory as he spent last season playing for Clermont Auvergne in France’s Top14 competition.

Merrick will form a new second row pairing with Justin Clegg who is another making his seasonal debut along with wings Alex Hearle and Ed Fidow – who previously played in France for Provence – full-back Chris Pennell and centre Will Butler.

Pennell and Butler have been named as co-captains with Butler returning to action three months after sustaining an ankle injury at Bath.

Butler is one of seven players in the squad who played Warriors’ only previous visit to Pau in December 2018.

The replacements include tighthead prop Kieran Verden who is in line to make his debut having been signed from Bath on a short-term loan deal to cover injuries to Nick Schonert, Richard Palframan and Joe Morris.


Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell (CC), 14 Alex Hearle, 13 Ashley Beck, 12 Will Butler (CC), 11 Ed Fidow 10 Jamie Shillcock, 9 Gareth Simpson, 1 Marc Thomas, 2 Beck Cutting, 3 Conor Carey, 4 George Merrick, 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Joe Batley, 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Morgan Monks.


Replacements | 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Kieran Verden, 19 James Scott, 20 Caleb Montgomery, 21 Matti Williams, 22 Jono Kitto, 23 Scott van Breda.


Unavailable due to injury | Matt Cox, Tom Dodd, Noah Heward, Lewis Holsey, Tom Howe, Graham Kitchener, Matt Kvesic, Marco Mama, Joe Morris, Matt Moulds, Richard Palframan, Nick Schonert, GJ van Velze.