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Redpath expects Worcester tester

Gloucester coach Bryan Redpath has dismissed talk of Worcester being relegation candidates as his side prepare to lock horns with the Warriors at Kingsholm on Saturday.

The Warriors marked their return to the top flight, having secured promotion from the Championship at the first attempt last term, with a 17-12 victory over Sale at Sixways last weekend. Despite the win there are still plenty who expect Richard Hill's side to be facing a battle for survival come the end of the campaign.

But Redpath says he would be "naive" to expect anything other than a full-blooded contest in their West Country derby and he said: "Most of the people saying those things are paid to have an opinion. Players, coaches etc. have too much respect for each other to talk about who will be top or bottom. They know how difficult it is."

He added: "The last time Worcester played at Kingsholm, they played very well, as they did the previous time.

"It'd be naive to think that this would be an easy game. They've got virtually a full squad while we've got players away and injured but that's just life."

The Cherry and Whites were denied an opening win at Northampton by a late Ryan Lamb penalty last weekend.

That blow was tough to take after they had battled back from 23-13 down to lead, and Redpath wants to see his side close out the win this time round.

He said: "We're back at Kingsholm and the Gloucester crowd have been brilliant for us over the past few season. It's important now that we do ourselves justice, tidy up our execution, precision and discipline and hopefully go one better than last week."

Redpath has handed full debuts to scrum-half Nick Runciman, once of Worcester, and lock Tom Savage with Dave Lewis and Alex Brown out injured.

There are also two changes among the Warriors ranks with fly-half Joe Carlisle and hooker Chris Fortey given the chance to shine.

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