Belfast Telegraph

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Warriors turn to Lander

Worcester have taken direct action in an attempt to curb the poor discipline that has impacted on their Aviva Premiership campaign.

Warriors go into Friday night's clash against Leicester at Sixways on the back of a defeat against Premiership relegation favourites Sale Sharks and collecting two more yellow cards. Their total of 10 sin-binnings this season is the Premiership's highest, and Worcester have now turned to former leading English referee Steve Lander for assistance.

Worcester head coach Richard Hill said: "We've started to work with Steve Lander, and he is helping us to look at the penalties and yellow cards. We are serious about addressing this, and I am hoping that Steve will be able to coach our players to not concede those silly penalties."

He added: "I want the work we do with Steve to help us reduce the penalty count, hopefully for Leicester and the next batch of Premiership games.

"We can't grumble. We have got to look at it because week in and week out we are conceding too many penalties. Some of them are debatable and some of them are dumb."

Hill makes six changes from the side beaten by Sale, with scrum-half Jonny Arr - he replaces jaw injury victim Paul Hodgson - centre Jon Clarke, hooker Aleki Lutui and flanker Sam Betty among those handed starts.

"There were a number of battered and bruised bodies after the game at Sale, and it is vital the team that starts is in the best physical shape for such a crucial game," Hill said.

"We have a real sense of pride when playing in front of our fans at Sixways, but this will undoubtedly be our toughest challenge yet. If we want to keep our home record intact (Worcester are unbeaten at Sixways since September), we have got to pull out all the stops and raise the bar once more."

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill retains just three players - wing Adam Thompstone, scrum-half Ben Youngs and lock Louis Deacon - from the side that accounted for Welford Road visitors Gloucester 17-12 last Saturday.

The most notable switch is at blindside flanker where England international Tom Croft makes his first appearance of the season after recovering from a neck injury that has sidelined him since last April.


From Belfast Telegraph