Mike Ruddock has challenged his Warriors to step up another gear when they tackle Moseley at Sixways Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) – and revealed new fly half Matthew Jones is set to make his home debut against his old club.
Director of Rugby Ruddock has admitted the clash on home soil – which is Tony Windo’s Testimonial game – is crucial to his plans as the new Guinness Premiership season ticks ever closer.
Ruddock is expected to name a strong side for the clash with the National Division One side, including new No.10 Matthew Jones making his home bow against his former side.
And he has urged supporters to make the game and see firsthand the rugby they can expect from new-look Warriors this season.
“We are looking forward to the visit of Moseley on Saturday; the fixture is a very important one for us for a number of reasons,” said Ruddock.
“It gives us an immediate opportunity to put in practice some improvements we are hoping to make from our last game with Doncaster Knights. It also gives me the chance to see some new combinations and some new players starting for the first time, for example Matt Jones who will start at ten.
“For fans it is the first chance for many, if they haven’t already, to see the work on the new East Stand and come along and see the quite incredible progress that’s been made before the season starts.
“The game itself provides the players with a chance to really put their hands up for selection in future games, in particular selection for the Ulster game which really should form the basis of our playing panel for the first league game with Northampton Saints.”
Ruddock described the game as a fitting tribute to the work that former front row ace Windo had done and continued to do with Warriors.
But the Worcester boss stressed any sentiment would be left on the sidelines for a crucial game in the pre-season plans.
“The match is a wonderful chance to pay tribute to a great servant to the club in Tony Windo. We have been delighted to work with the Tony Windo Testimonial Committee to help arrange this game,” he said.
“It also gives us the chance to develop close links with Moseley as a neighbouring club and I’m keen to develop links with clubs across our region.
“However, I would make it clear that Tony will not be playing in this game as it will be a very serious and competitive match for both teams.
“We will be selecting a strong team for this match and I would urge fans to come along and see the work we have been doing as we have no other home rugby until the third week in September.”
Tickets are available for the match at the suggested donation price of £10 for adults and £5 for juniors from the official website or from the club reception on 01905 454183 during opening hours for anyone wishing to pay an alternative amount.
For more information visit http://www.tonywindo.co.uk/