Rasmussen back for Falcons cup clash

Tough-tackling centre Dale Rasmussen returns for Worcester Warriors as they prepare for the European Challenge Cup semi-final with Newcastle Falcons at Sixways Stadium (kick-off 8pm).

Rasmussen has been out of action since the quarter-final victory over Montpellier but has recovered from concussion sustained in that European game to make his comeback against the Falcons.

Skipper Pat Sanderson is named in the starting line-up after recovering from a dead leg that forced him off against Bath Rugby last weekend.

Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock said: “The players are looking forward to the game and we hope home advantage and the backing of the Sixways crowd can fire us to a cup final.

“When we played Newcastle earlier this season we felt we should have won up at Kingston Park in the league, we outscored them two tries to nil. The deadly boot of Jonny Wilkinson won the game for them on that occasion and we know our discipline will have to be top drawer on Friday.

“For the Warriors it has been a season of steady progress and recently we have shown some good form at Sixways to beat top four teams like Gloucester and Leicester Tigers. Hopefully we have shown the home faithful that we have Heineken Cup ambitions and against Newcastle we can get the result that we badly crave.”

Warriors v Newcastle Falcons
15 Thinus Delport
14 Marcel Garvey
13 Dale Rasmussen
12 Sam Tuitupou
11 Miles Benjamin
10 Shane Drahm
9 Matt Powell

1 Tony Windo
2 Aleki Lutui
3 Tevita Taumoepeau
4 Greg Rawlinson
5 Craig Gillies
6 Drew Hickey
7 Pat Sanderson (c)
8 Kai Horstmann

16 Shaun Ruwers
17 Matt Mullan
18 Will Bowley
19 Tom Wood
20 Jonny Arr
21 Joe Carlisle
22 Rico Gear

Tickets are available for the European Challenge Cup semi-final at Sixways Stadium. Call the Ticket Office on 0870 990 5650 for more information.