Head Coach Richard Hill has revealed that ‘passionate winner’ Pat Sanderson is set to start the local derby with Moseley Rugby – as part of a pack of forwards determined to put the record straight having been stung by recent criticism.
Sanderson made his comeback from injury with an impressive 40-minute show against his former club Sale on Monday night and Hill is now ready to call him into RFU Championship action after he proved his fitness.
Hill has also admitted that former Moseley player Andy Williams will return to Billesley Common to form a new half back pairing while Spanish winger Oriol Ripol is ready to be unleashed in league action.
“It’s great to have Pat back after he injured himself in pre-season, Craig (Gillies) after picking up a problem in the first game and Adam (Balding) after a little injury having had an operation in the summer,” said Hill.
“All three came through well against Sale Jets and I was delighted with their performance over the 40 minutes. It was a competitive and physical game, which is what they needed, and all three will be in the 22 for the weekend.
“We will make one or two changes with Oriol Ripol coming into the 22 for the first time and Pat will start at Number Eight with Kai Horstmann having time off to stay fresh. Miles Benjamin has also been given time away so won’t be involved.
“I will also change the half backs around with Joe Carlisle and Andy Williams paired together and Willie Walker, who played well last week in the attack, has merited another chance.
Hill added: “There is no doubt Pat will add something do us, he likes to encourage and it has been noticeable in training that the noise level has gone up.
“He is a passionate winner as we know, but I would like him to just concentrate on his game and he won’t be captain. I would like to think he can produce his best rugby while one or two others look after the leadership at the weekend.
“Our forwards have been stung by the criticism following the Doncaster and Rotherham games. I have sensed a very determined pack of forwards that want to put the record straight.”