Boss backing Arscott to shine in semi

Head Coach Richard Hill has backed Tom Arscott to sparkle in the RFU Championship semi-final clash with Bedford Blues on Sunday (kick-off 12.15pm) – after revealing captain Chris Pennell will almost certainly miss the game with a rib injury.

Full back Pennell last played in the pool stages when he was forced off against Nottingham Rugby with injury.

Arscott has stepped in and shown blistering form, including a stunning try-scoring display in the record-breaking victory over Bristol in the last game at Sixways Stadium.

“Chris Pennell has not quite recovered from a rib injury which is a shame. He is not quite100 percent so he will almost certainly not be considered for selection,” said Hill.

“He is out with Pat Sanderson, two key players and we are disappointed with that. It is a shame for Pat because he would desperately want to play in these kind of games.

“But we have got real quality in the squad who can step in. Tom Arscott played very well against London Welsh away and against Bristol at Sixways. He has stepped into Chris Pennell’s shoes very well.

“Joe Carlisle is ok after the cup game last weekend, but Adam Balding is not quite right with a broken toe. He is frustrated about it, but he is only a few days away.

“There might be one or two changes from last weekend,” he added. “We have kept a few players back and trained separately just to keep nice and fresh for the weekend. Hopefully that will give us a slight advantage.

“There will certainly be a lot of experience in the pack, it won’t take the biggest brain to pick the pack that might go out there. It is a well-drilled pack that has played together a lot over the last few weeks and have got to know each other.

Hill has also revealed Jake Abbott is pushing for a place in the squad after his eye-catching return to action since after a six-month layoff.

“I thought Jake Abbott, for second game back having only had 20 minutes against Bristol, to go and play a full 80 minutes away at Bedford last weekend was outstanding,” added Hill.

“For a young man to come back from such a horrific injury and perform at a really top level was fantastic.”

Tickets remain on sale for the biggest show in the city – the huge RFU Championship semi-final with Bedford Blues. Call the Warriors Box Office on 01905 454183 or click HERE to buy online and take your seat for all the drama this Sunday!