WORCESTER Warriors' head coach Jonathan Thomas says his side have to be 'mentally and physically' ready for what's to come when his side take on Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park this evening (7.45pm kick-off).

The weather forecast indicates it'll be a typically northern winter evening under the lights at the home of the Falcons, as Warriors look to build on last weekend's massive cup 68-13 win over Bristol Bears.

But they are back in league action tonight and with that sees the return of the regular first team players, but there are six changes from the side that lost to Bristol (in the league) at the start of the month.

International duo Duhan van der Merwe and Sione Vailanu return to the starting line-up after their duties playing for Scotland and Tonga respectively.

Alex Hearle, Gareth Simpson and Jay Tyack are rewarded for their impressive displays in the cup win last weekend with their first Premiership starts.

Kyle Hatherell returns from injury to take his place in the back-row in the one other change.

Worcester's away form in the Premiership over the years has been woeful and they have won just once on their travels in any competition since November 2019 (40-25 against London Irish at the Twickenham Stoop in September 2020).

They have not won at tonight's venue since 2016 and have lost their last four, including last season's 24-14 back in June.

Despite all of that, Thomas insists his side are "excited for the challenge".

"You don't need to over think the game going up to Newcastle," he said.

"You don't need to talk about fancy plays and moves, it's about mindset and physicality and being emotionally ready to go to war.

"They are an uncompromising team and the conditions are challenging.

"Dean Richards (DoR) has done an amazing job there in terms of making them hard to beat, it's a big physical and mental challenge.

"We are under no illusions of the task at hand but it's one we're equally excited and ready for."