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Gloucester chief David Humphreys warns of Worcester threat

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys has warned his side not to take Premiership newcomers Worcester lightly when the teams do battle at Kingsholm on Saturday.

Worcester began life in the top-flight in dramatic style two weeks ago, beating Northampton 13-12 on the opening day.

Warriors were unable to repeat their heroics at Sale in round two but Humphreys believes his side, looking to bounce back themselves from defeat against Saracens, must be at their best this weekend.

"I think Worcester will be another huge challenge for us. They've come up and made a great start to their campaign with the win against Northampton," Humphreys said.

"It gave them the confidence to know that they can compete in this league. Unlike London Welsh the year before, they've more consistency in their squad and haven't had to recruit so much.

"And the players they have recruited are experienced and have been successful in various leagues in various countries."

Humphreys added on Gloucester's club website: "We know what the challenge will be. We know how well we're going to have to play to get the win.

"But, at the same time, we know that if we go out and perform that we're a good team and we can beat anyone on our day."

New signing Tevita Cavubati will make his full Worcester debut with director of rugby Dean Ryan sticking with the same 23 that lost to Sale.

"There's a lot more to come from this group. We're pretty buoyant that we can compete and now we have to drive ourselves to get better," Ryan said.

"It's not just about swimming each week and seeing if we can stay above water.

"We want to see if we can really nail down some results and I'm pleased with the response from the squad."

Fresh from beating Gloucester last week, Saracens are the early leaders at the top of the table and will be hoping to extend their strong start with a win over London Irish.

Irish have a new boss in the shape of Tom Coventry this season but have endured a difficult opening fortnight, after defeats to Leicester and Exeter.

"We are facing a new-look London Irish side under the tutelage of a great coach in Tom Coventry who I'm sure will be very successful in the Premiership," Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall told his club's official website.

"They, much like ourselves, have some players returning from Rugby World Cup duty to link up with a very strong squad.

"We know that we will have to be at our very best if we are to come away with the spoils."

Also in action on Saturday are top-four hopefuls Bath and Harlequins, who go head to head at the Recreation Ground.

Bath, looking to respond after last week's defeat at Wasps, have made six changes with Matt Banahan, Max Lahiff, Rob Webber, David Wilson, Dominic Day and Guy Mercer all handed starts.

Harlequins welcome back England captain Chris Robshaw along with Joe Marler, Joe Gray, Nick Easter and captain Danny Care, while Tim Visser is set for his senior club debut.


From Belfast Telegraph