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Ryan salutes Leicester heritage

Worcester boss Dean Ryan has hailed Leicester as "a great Premiership advert for English rugby".

The Tigers head to Sixways on Friday night, when Ryan's men will target a first victory of their miserable Aviva Premiership campaign at the 13th attempt.

Worcester, 11 points adrift at the division's basement and running out of time in their quest for top-flight survival, will host a Leicester side boosted by returning England squad players Ben Youngs and Ed Slater.

"Leicester must be delighted that Toby Flood and Ben Youngs are available, and that Anthony Allen is back (from injury)," Ryan said.

"They've got a significant injury list, but they have a significant squad. That's what a good club is. It has layers of depth and a heritage of success.

"That's what we are trying to build, and Leicester are a great template for success over the years. People only go there that want to be successful, and they are a great Premiership advert for English rugby."

Argentina Test hooker Agustin Creevy returns to action for Worcester following a three-month injury absence, while Paul Warwick replaces fly-half Ignacio Mieres and centre Alex Grove and wing David Lemi are also back in action.

"I am desperate for this club to fight for its survival, and therefore I've got to frame decisions around that," Ryan added.

"We're going to have to beat a team like Leicester, Northampton or Harlequins if we are to get ourselves out of this position.

"That starts at home this Friday night, and we will fight like mad to give ourselves every chance."

In Friday's other game, Gloucester tackle Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium keen to avenge an opening weekend league defeat against Sale on west country soil.

"Fair do's to them, they came here and got a result. But, when we look at the performance, they scored two tries from set-piece and that was the difference," Gloucester rugby director Nigel Davies said.

"Overall, the performance indicators showed that we probably should have won that game.

"But, when you give two sloppy tries away from scrums in the first phase, that can skew things. They've scored a few that way against us and will be looking to do the same again.

"But I think we're in a different place now. We've had a hard couple of months, but I firmly believe we've come through that.

"It's going to be tough up there, we know that. But if we focus on what we've focused on in the past couple of months, the processes we have to undertake and the intensity that we need to bring - in and around the contact area in particular - then I will be happy."

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