Hill reveals growing back row contest

Head Coach Richard Hill has praised the youngsters in his back row for giving him a selection headache – highlighting the continued emergence of Sam Betty and Matt Kvesic in the LV= Cup.

Warriors used the cup competition to give young players within the squad valuable game time the chance to stake claims for more senior rugby.

Betty and Kvesic started both games at openside and blindside flanker and Hill believes both showcased they can be big players for the Warriors for many years to come.

“The group that played in the LV= Cup has come on considerably,” he said. “We threw a lot of new young lads in and saw them develop.

“Sam Betty has been consistently very good. He played very well against Wasps, and was probably the pick of the forwards, and had another very good game against Bath.

“Matt Kvesic also played exceptionally well last weekend. Those two in the back row are good young players for the future of this club.”

Meanwhile, Hill revealed that Aleki Lutui is set to be involved against London Wasps on Friday night after his World Cup exploits with Tonga.

“Aleki Lutui comes in on the bench so he is back in and looking pretty fit and strong,” said Hill. “He is pumped from the World Cup and beating France with Tonga. It is good to have him back.

“We are still awaiting Ravai Fatiaki to arrive. He has passed his English test, which you have to do to qualify for a visa, and we are now in the process of finalising that and bringing him across.”

However, Number Eight Kai Horstmann is unlikely to feature and instead has been lined up to challenge for a place against Newcastle Falcons the following week.

 “Kai’s hamstring is almost right, but it’s not worth risking him,” warned Hill.

“He could, at a pinch, be involved Friday night, but I’m not prepared to risk that. We will ease him back and he will definitely be available for Newcastle if all goes to plan.

“On top of that we are still waiting on the surgeon to look at Alex’s Crockett’s scan after his knock against Bath. He has a sore knee, but we will wait and see what happens.

“We are, though, hoping to involve Jonny Arr in the Aviva A League game with Leeds Carnegie on Monday night. He is also very close to a return.”