Touch of Claass back for Rovigo clash

Head Coach Richard Hill has revealed Errie Claassens will make his comeback in the Amlin Challenge Cup clash with Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo at Sixways on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) – and vowed to pick an even stronger side than the team that tasted opening day victory in Spain.

Claassens has been out of action since pre-season, but Hill has confirmed the versatile back will face Italian opposition.

Andy Short will also start the game as he continues his return to action while the Sixways boss has also admitted he will recall the big guns that missed the trip to Basque Country as Warriors opened with a thumping 85-5 win over Bizkaia Gernika.

“Errie Claasens will be back into the team,” he said. “We will start with Errie on Saturday.

“I’m delighted about that. It seems a long time since he’s been out injured but he was playing exceptionally well when he started in pre-season and I’m very excited about seeing him play again.

“The only four we have injured now is Shaun Perry, Danny Gray, Josh Drauniniu and Nikki Walker so two wings, a ten and a scrum half.

“Andy Short had a shoulder operation on both shoulders and a broken wrist so when they first came back you can imagine how tentative you are, but he got a lot of confidence from the Gernika game and we will start him this weekend against Rovigo.

“I would expect to see an even better performance from him now he’s got that one under his belt. He was very relieved to come off the field and didn’t feel any trouble at all from his shoulders and wrist. It’s always the first few contacts you worry about but he’s come through that well.

“The thing which delighted me is that after the six Aviva Premiership games, the players were very serious about going to Spain and producing a good performance there and they did.

“It was a very professional performance and we expect a very professional performance this week as well.

“There will be more changes. For our trip to Spain I kept nine of our first team players back who had been playing more regularly. People like Lutui, Mullan, Andress, Percival, Betty and Goode. They had a break for the week but they will all be back in the squad of 23.

“Some will start some will be on the bench. But they will all be involved so we will be stronger this week than we were last week.”

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“I’m delighted about that. It seems a long time since Errie's been out injured but he was playing exceptionally well when he started in pre-season and I’m very excited about seeing him play again…"