Gear and Tuitupou handed GP debut

New Zealand international duo Rico Gear and Sam Tuitupou will be handed their first Guinness Premiership starts of the campaign when Worcester Warriors face London Irish on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).

Gear will play on the wing and Tuitupou will partner Dale Rasmussen in the centre as Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock keeps faith with the same side that crushed GRAN Parma in the European Challenge Cup last weekend.

Prop Darren Morris and wing Thinus Delport return to the replacements bench as Warriors hunt a first league win of the season at the Madejski Stadium.

“There is a real positive environment and intent about the camp at the moment,” said Ruddock. “Sam and Rico have made their debuts and we go into this crucial period of fixtures near full strength with a real determination and focus to turn the corner.

“London Irish will be a difficult proposition. They have a very good set piece and real pace in the backs to ask questions of you. But we are ready to perform and face them.

“We have been through a testing period but now we want to come out the other side and register that first league win. It is easy to talk about potential, now we have to deliver on the field.”

Warriors v London Irish

15 Chris Pennell
14 Rico Gear
13 Dale Rasmussen
12 Sam Tuitupou
11 Marcel Garvey
10 Shane Drahm
9 Matt Powell

1 Matt Mullan
2 Aleki Lutui
3 Tevita Taumoepeau
4 Greg Rawlinson
5 Craig Gillies
6 Netani Talei
7 Pat Sanderson (c)
8 Kai Horstmann

16 Darren Morris
17 Chris Fortey
18 Will Bowley
19 Drew Hickey
20 Jonny Arr
21 Loki Crichton
22 Thinus Delport