Carl Hogg hopes Ben Te’o’s winning experience can fire Worcester Warriors to Aviva Premiership Rugby success as they prepare to take on Saracens at the London Double Header.
Worcester came up against Saracens in full flow at Last Year’s London Double Header, the then newly-promoted side losing 48-18 to the eventual Champions Cup and Aviva Premiership Rugby double winners.
Warriors head coach Hogg has seen former NRL Champion Ben Te’o join from Leinster and ex-Chiefs centre Jackson Willison also commit to the Warriors.
And Hogg believes the combination of star recruits with promising youngsters bodes well for the future at Sixways.
“Ben’s winning mentality was one of his main attractions. Ben has won the NRL Grand Final with South Sydney Rabbitohs and we will look to use his experience to help us with our task this season,” Hogg explained.
“We are looking forward to both the athlete and the experience that he can bring on board.
“Ben is a powerful, physical athlete, he can take the ball to the line. But he can also offload and he has got good distribution in the tackle.
“He brings a physical element into what is an already talented backline. We want to organically grow a team through our academy, but to bring in the quality of Ben Te’o or Jackson Willison, along with Francois Hougaard, is a real advantage and a real boost.
“We are a year further down the track, some of the younger players are a year more experienced, they have witnessed the Aviva Premiership, they know what it’s all about and the challenges of playing week in week out.”
With Saracens lying in wait at Twickenham on Saturday, Hogg is under no illusion as to the scale of the challenge in front of the Warriors, but is happy with the way his side have prepared to face the best in the business.
“The London Double Header is a fantastic opportunity, you want to challenge yourself against the best and at the moment Saracens are the best,” said the former Gloucester forwards coach.
“Saracens are very clinical, you can be within a score and then they get one opportunity and before you know it you are 14 points down.
“They won the Premiership and the European Champions Cup last year. To play them at Twickenham is a huge occasion and one which will challenge us as a group and that we’re looking forward to.
“We can’t wait for the season ahead, we have a really strong platform to build on both on and off the field.”
Aviva Premiership Rugby returns this weekend. For a full fixture list please click here