Richard Hill has demanded his Worcester Warriors produce a big performance on the opening day of the season against Sale Sharks – and called on the Sixways faithful to welcome back top-flight rugby by creating a special atmosphere.
Head Coach Hill remains tight-lipped over his team selection for the opener – that will be publically announced on Friday lunchtime.
However, he has let his squad know in no uncertain terms what he expects on day one in terms of display.
The Sixways chief firmly believes the first game can set the tone for the rest of the season and wants his Warriors to follow in the footsteps of Exeter Chiefs, who last season stunned Gloucester on the opening weekend after winning promotion.
“You have to get off to a good start, especially if you are the new boys into the league,” he said.
“The only game we have been concerned about is Sale on the opening day, we have not looked at all at week two or three. Exeter proved what can be done last season when they beat Gloucester at home.
“There is a lot of competition for places and the selection has been hard,” he added. “I think in our mind we know which team will take to the field on Saturday, but there were a lot of positions where there was huge debate.
Players who are on the bench could equally justify being in the starting line-up. The strength in depth is great.
“We can’t afford to wait for 20 games before we kick into action like last season, we have got to start the season with a bang and got to win this one on Saturday.
“That will set the tone for the season and get the fans really excited. It will also get the players really excited to go on two difficult away trips.
“It’s important on the first game of the season to have key players in key roles. In most of the key positions we will be looking for a bit of experience.
“You need a solid set piece. We want to play some fantastic rugby, but we have got to make sure that we are dominating the scrum. We will have those players who will do a job in there.”
Hill has urged Worcester fans to now pack out Sixways yet again and play a pivotal role in the afternoon’s drama.
“I have been very pleased with the crowds that have come in for pre-season. A lot of the lads who we signed from the Championship couldn’t believe how much noise they made,” he concluded.
“It would be absolutely fantastic if we could get a big crowd in here on Saturday. Sale won’t be used to that either.
“It’s a critical start so if we can get as many fans in as possible and get this place rammed and people right behind the players it could set the season off really well.”
Meanwhile, Hill has revealed that prop recruit Ceri Jones, who picked up a shoulder injury during the pre-season camp in Geneva, and hooker Ollie Hayes hope to be available for selection against Gloucester.
Alex Crockett is also set to feature for Worcester Cavaliers in a friendly with Exeter on Monday night as he looks to overcome an ankle injury.
Tickets remain on sale for the opening day of the season at Sixways! Call the Warriors Box Office on 01905 454183 or click HERE to buy online and enjoy a special day at the home of the Warriors!