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Dean Ryan believes attack is key for Premiership clash with Newcastle

Published 03/03/2016

Worcester rugby director Dean Ryan is fully aware of the importance of Friday's Aviva Premiership clash against Newcastle
Worcester rugby director Dean Ryan is fully aware of the importance of Friday's Aviva Premiership clash against Newcastle

Worcester boss Dean Ryan has put an emphasis on attack when the Warriors face a key Aviva Premiership clash against Newcastle at Kingston Park.

Victory for Worcester in the north-east on Friday would take them at least nine points above bottom club and relegation favourites London Irish.

And a points cushion is also the aim for 10th-placed Newcastle, knowing that a win at Worcester's expense would see them overtake Bath, who host Irish on Saturday.

"There is nobody here that doesn't understand the significance of this game," said Ryan, whose team are currently one position and two points behind Newcastle.

"Newcastle have developed a style of play which suits them at home, and they've got decent momentum.

"The addition of (fly-half) Andy Goode has given them a boost. He's been a catalyst for their success.

"The game will be a bit faster on the 4G (surface) up there, so it will be more dynamic around rucks.

"We have to attack. I think it will suit us and the surface. Fingers crossed, we don't get a storm, because conditions can dictate how you approach a game in Newcastle."

Ryan recalls back-row forward Phil Dowson to the back-row as a solitary change from the side beaten by Northampton at Franklin's Gardens last weekend.

Dowson packs down alongside captain GJ van Velze and South African Dewald Potgieter, while prop Nick Schonert and wing Cooper Vuna maintain their sequence of having started every Premiership game this season.

Newcastle rugby director Dean Richards has made five changes following last Saturday's comprehensive defeat against Gloucester, with Goode among those returning.

Goalkicker Goode is joined at half-back by Michael Young, with wing Alex Tait replacing Giamba Venditti, Mark Wilson and Sean Robinson resuming their second-row partnership and Tonga captain Nili Latu returning to the back-row after being sidelined by injury.

Newcastle have not lost at home in the league for three months, reeling off wins against Bath, Harlequins, Leicester and Northampton, but Worcester are without an away victory in any competition this season.

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