Hill expects victory in Gernika

Head Coach Richard Hill expects Warriors to record a big victory when they travel to Bizkaia Gernika in the Amlin Challenge Cup on Saturday.

Gernika are top of the table in Spain’s top league but Hill believes his side will be too strong for their opponents.

He said: “They won’t be one of the strongest teams in the Amlin Cup. Our academy coach Mark Hewitt has coached in Spain for the last two years so he’s given us some information about them.

“You can’t underestimate any team in this competition but our players should be good enough to come away with a very good win.

“A good friend of mine went to watch them a few weeks ago and has had a look at how they play so we know a bit about them.”

With many players getting their first start of the season Hill believes the side he has selected to line-up against Gernika will be determined to secure a big win.

He added: “We’re taking a very motivated group of players. Sometimes if you take all the players who have played in the opening six Aviva Premiership matches, they don’t have the same energy because they need rest.

“I’m excited about the players coming into the side because they’re all desperate to play and desperate to prove what they can do.

“They’ve been waiting patiently to play in the first team and we’ve had a really good week with them this week so we’ll see if we can bring back 5 points this weekend.

“Paul Hodgson is starting his first game after injury, as are Neil Best, Blair Cowan, Jon Clarke and Andy Short so it will be interesting to see how they get on.

“Jake Abbott will come off the bench as well so in the coming weeks we should have a lot more players competing for places.

“Gernika will be looking forward to facing an Aviva Premiership side so the group of players I’ve selected have a big opportunity to impress everyone.”