WORCESTER Warriors’ head coach Jonathan Thomas has outlined the importance of Saturday’s European Challenge Cup clash with French giants Toulon from both a financial and rugby perspective.

Worcester’s round two tie with Biarritz Olympique was postponed in December due to French travel restrictions and then this week the ECPR decided all those games affected would be settled as 0-0 draws, with both sides getting two points.

Having been beaten in their pool opener at Newcastle, that puts the pressure on Worcester to get a result this weekend against one of the heavyweights in European rugby.

Early team news from the French side suggest that South African World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe will not feature as he has been listed as injured, as has Fijian offload king Leone Nakarawa.

But otherwise it is expected Toulon will be at full-strength and their team could well see Italian rugby legend Sergio Parisse at number eight.

"We are delighted that the match is going ahead,” said Thomas

"Toulon have had COVID issues recently but the match is on and we are very excited at the prospect of the three-times Champions Cup winners coming here.

"It’s a home game which brings in some important revenue, especially after the disappointment of the Biarritz match being cancelled, and it’s also a fantastic opportunity for our supporters to see one of the top clubs in Europe playing at Sixways.

"A lot of their team are internationals, their squad is full of very good rugby players.

"They will be excited to be back playing again and, from what we hear, they are likely to come here fully loaded.

"So the prospect of facing a fully-loaded Toulon side at Sixways is an exciting one for us and our supporters."

"But above all else, we want to progress from the group and to do that you need to win your home games and we were frustrated with the two points from the Biarritz game. 

"All we can do is control the variables and win this week and then in Zebre next week and hopefully that will be enough to progress."