Warriors name European Cup final team

Worcester Warriors have named the side that will face Bath Rugby in the European Challenge Cup final at Kingsholm on Sunday (kick-off 12noon).

Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock has made three changes to his starting line-up from the final Guinness Premiership match of the season with prop Tevita Taumoepeau, back row Drew Hickey and New Zealand international centre Sam Tuitupou returning.

The trio of Hickey, Shane Drahm and Thinus Delport are all named in the side before they depart for Japan this summer and Sixways legend Tony Windo will start in the front row for the final time in his glittering career.

Scrum half Ryan Powell returns to the bench and is joined by Wales international Chris Horsman and Fijian ace Netani Talei.

“The boys are all very excited and we are looking forward to playing in a cup final,” said Ruddock. “We’ve had a break after not having a game last weekend and so the players are fully charged and determined to put on a good show.

“There has been a different mindset this week with us being in the final, it has lifted the players and they know this is a wonderful opportunity for them. If we can win it will be a great story with the club coming through the different leagues and then playing in the Heineken Cup.

“Bath have played some great rugby all season, they have been the form team for a lot of the campaign so we know the task we are facing. We have looked at them closely and we are aiming for our defence to be up to the mark. We are ready to face them.”

Warriors v Bath Rugby

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 Chris Horsman
17 Matt Mullan
18 Will Bowley
19 Netani Talei
20 Ryan Powell
21 Joe Carlisle
22 Rico Gear