Heathcote excited for first Twickenham experience

Tom Heathcote admits he is excited about the prospect of playing at Twickenham for the first time.

Warriors travel to the home of English rugby on Saturday to take on Saracens in the London Double Header (kick-off 3.15pm).

And the Warriors fly-half says the whole club has been looking forward to the encounter since the game was announced in the summer.

Heathcote said: “Everyone is pretty excited and it’s a massive opportunity for players to represent the Club on a big stage.  

“We weren’t necessarily expecting to be involved in the London Double Header before the fixtures were announced but it’s been marked in the calendar for a while as a game to look forward to.

“Most of the players haven’t played at Twickenham before so hopefully they’ll enjoy the occasion and make the most of it.” 

International duo Donncha O’Callaghan and Phil Dowson have both played at Twickenham for their countries, while Warriors captain GJ van Velze played in the Aviva Premiership final for Northampton Saints in 2013.

And, according to Heathcote, the senior players have had a calming influence on the rest of the squad.

He continued: “Some of the guys who have played there have experienced the Twickenham atmosphere and have offered a few words of advice to the other lads. 

“Once you’re out there it’s just 15 players against 15 players and the size of the stadium and the crowd don’t really come into it. We’re trying to focus on our individual jobs.”

Saturday’s opponents Saracens top the Aviva Premiership table after four wins from their opening four games.

But Heathcote says Warriors will be focused on their own game.

He added: “We’ll be looking to implement the way we want to play and show what we can do as a team. 

“It’s going to be a massive challenge as Saracens are the Aviva Premiership champions and have been flying this season. 

“But we’re trying to challenge the teams that we play every single week and we want to be competitive in every game.”