Warriors retain focus for Rovigo clash
October 19, 2012
Richard Hill is demanding his side maintain their focus against Rovigo © Getty Images
Worcester Warriors will block out any thoughts of the looming double header against Perpignan when the take on Rovigo in the Amlin Challenge Cup on Saturday.
The Warriors face back-to-back fixtures against the French giants in December with the outcomes of those matches set to be crucial in deciding who progresses to the quarter-finals from Pool Two.
Richard Hill's men secured a bonus-point victory over tournament newcomers Gernika last weekend and will be determined to focus on repeating that against Rovigo tomorrow.
"We are treating this competition very seriously," Hill said. "We need a big win this weekend and that will set us up for the two crucial matches against Perpignan. The danger when you come up against a weaker side is that you take them lightly and put in a bitty performance, but that won't be the case with us."
Full-back Errie Claasens gets his first start of the season while Fiji international Ravai Fatiaki is named alongside Jon Clarke in midfield and Samoan wing David Lemi gains a recall. Four changes in the pack, meanwhile, see hooker Ed Shervington given a starting berth, along with skipper Dean Schofield, flanker Sam Betty and number eight Semisi Taulava.
London Irish face Mont-de-Marsan at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday as they also look to continue their winning bonus-point start to the season following their 43-16 defeat of Bordeaux-Begles.
They make two changes from the opening Pool One encounter with full-back Anthony Watson starting instead of Steven Shingler and skipper Declan Danaher restored to the back row.
"Mont-de-Marsan showed a lot of guts and determination last week against Gloucester," Smith said. "We expect they will be fired up for another shot at an England-based team, and we look forward to meeting that challenge head on."
London Welsh will hope to bounce back from their hammering at the hands of Stade Francais when they travel to Cavalieri Prato on Saturday.
"It wasn't the best day at the office for anyone," said Exiles lock Martin Purdy, recalling the Stade Francais drubbing. "Whether our attitude was wrong or we gave them too much respect, they pretty much beat us at every aspect of the game."
Wasps, meanwhile, are also in Italy this weekend, returning to Challenge Cup action on Sunday against Pool Three's weakest team Mogliano. Dai Young makes a host of changes to the Wasps team with Joe Simpson, Billy Vunipola and Marco Wentzel all rested and Elliot Daly, Andrea Masi and Christian Wade among those coming into the team.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'