Mike Ruddock has backed his Worcester Warriors to rise to the occasion in the huge Guinness Premiership clash with Newcastle Falcons – urging them to play with passion and pride in the home Friday night showdown (kick-off 8pm).
Warriors have eight league games remaining in the league campaign – and five of them are on home soil starting with the visit of the Falcons to Sixways Stadium.
Director of Rugby Ruddock admits this Friday’s game is now crucial and the mood in camp is positive.
“Now is the time for the team to really stand up and play well. We have eight games left and eight cup finals,” he said.
“We need to show pride and passion, allied to that it would be great to see a big crowd here at Sixways and all the supporters, who have been fantastic on all occasions, to be loud and vocal as always.
“We had a good meeting with the players and discussed a number of areas, for example our motivation for the last eight games and all of that is about looking up the table and not down.
“We are a ‘can do’ team rather than a ‘can’t do’ team and it is a very positive camp with everyone believing in what we are doing.
“We discussed players who are leaving the club and how important it is for them to be supportive and not go around with heads down because time is nearly up or they are being let go. At the end of the day, they are professionals and are paid to do a job.
“That got all the gremlins out so everyone was able to speak freely about the challenges ahead and how to get the best out of the playing staff, whether they are here next year or not.
“Everyone knows the score and has given a total commitment to doing the best they can. That is what I expect from everyone.”
Meanwhile, Ruddock has indicated that back row Tom Wood will not start the clash with Falcons after his dismissal at Bath.
“We do have standards that we expect the players to maintain and Tom apologised to his team-mates and the coaching staff straight after the game,” he added.
“He has had his case dealt with by the RFU and they deemed the sending off sufficient.
“There were mitigating circumstances, but even though he was provoked we have asked the player not to respond in any way to that provocation and get on with the game.
“Tom made a mistake in getting involved and because of that he will probably not start on Friday, even though he is available to us.”
Tickets remain on sale for the Warriors versus Newcastle Falcons clash! Call the Warriors Box Office on 01905 454183 or book online by clicking HERE