Ruddock expects fresh edge from stars

Mike Ruddock hopes the decision to rotate the Sixways squad in Europe will give his fresh Warriors the edge in the home Guinness Premiership clash with Harlequins on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Warriors return to domestic action on home soil and are set to recall a number of senior stars that were rested for the Amlin Challenge Cup trip to Spain last weekend.

Director of Rugby Ruddock admits members of his squad are now ‘busting a gut’ to be involved on Saturday afternoon and he expects Warriors to perform after the disappointment of defeat to Montpellier last time at home.

“We have freshened up a few guys who were carrying a lot of load,” said Ruddock.

“We have had to make a lot of tackles in our first few rounds of the Guinness Premiership, the tackle counts were quite high and a couple of the guys were feeling that sort of loading.

“People like Greg Rawlinson, who always puts his body on the line, needed time out. We have been able to leave him out for a few weeks and get him fresh, that has been really positive and a massive benefit to us.”

Ruddock acknowledged the chance to look at his younger stars over the last few weeks had also been a huge positive.

He said: “Some of the youngsters have also come in and George Crook, for example, took his opportunity really well and played well against Madrid. People like Jonny Arr scored a great try out there and played well.

“We have also had some returnees with Chris Pennell back after a number of months with his knee, Calum MacRae with his thumb.

“We have freshened a few guys up and have a number of players who are busting a gut to be involved this weekend, in contrast to Harlequins who have had some very tough games,” he added.

“They have had to play to the upmost of their physicality in all the games of late. That could work for them, if it’s a case of business as usual on Saturday and they’re used to that intensity.

“Or it could take the edge of them, particularly towards the end of the game, if they have any fatigue after those hard battles they have just been through. We are hoping it is the latter.”

It is not too late to take your seat for the big game with Harlequins this Saturday afternoon at Sixways Stadium (kick-off 3pm). Call the Warriors Box Office on 01905 454183 or check out the online Tickets section at www.warriors.co.uk