Duo face fitness race for Quins

Warriors boss Mike Ruddock will make a late call on the fitness of Chris Pennell and James Collins before naming his team to face Harlequins in the Guinness Premiership at Sixways Stadium on Thursday (kick-off 8pm).

Pennell scored a try and landed a long range penalty playing at wing in the defeat to Bath Rugby last weekend while young back row dynamo James Collins has repeatedly impressed in the absence of Pat Sanderson in recent weeks.

But Director of Rugby Ruddock revealed both could potentially miss the home clash with Quins as he prepares to name his starting line-up on Wednesday lunchtime. 

“James Collins potentially can come back into contention for the game but it is a real 50/50 call,” he said. “If he misses out we still have a lot of talent with young Matt Cox who is an England Sevens international who came on down at Bath and Tom Wood who played at six down at Bath and can continue to play in that position.

“Chris Pennell has had a knock on the leg so there is potential that he could not make the deadline, we will give him all the time we can.

“There is also a possibility we might make some changes to the team with the weather forecast for the game set for some strong wind. Perhaps we will look at the half backs in terms of tactics.”

Warriors have had less than a week to prepare for the televised clash but Ruddock insists that cannot be used as an excuse.

He added: “It’s been a quick turnaround this week but it is the same for every team, the advantage is that we are at home.

“We can’t worry too much about it, it puts pressure on us in terms of the time we have to relay information to the players about the opposition, but we always work a week in advance so combat that.

“We have prepared really well, the sessions have gone fantastically well so it’s not fingers crossed that we have plenty in the tank after the game at Bath.

“We won’t dwell on fatigue, we have shown great energy in training and I don’t think anyone will look for an excuse, it is game on and it should be an exciting game. Games under floodlights at Sixways are always an exciting affair and hopefully this will be the same.”

Don’t miss the magic of Sixways under floodlights! Tickets for the Harlequins game remain on sale by calling 01905 454183 or visiting the Sixways Box Office in person or online at www.warriors.co.uk