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Hougaard set for Warriors debut

New signing Francois Hougaard will make his Warriors debut in Saturday’s Aviva Premiership clash against Sale Sharks at Sixways (kick-off 3pm).

The Springbok international is one of four changes to the starting line-up as Director of Rugby Dean Ryan goes in search of a third win of the campaign.

Hougaard will form the half-back combination with fly-half Tom Heathcote while Ryan Mills comes back into the side to partner Wynand Olivier in the centre.

Chris Pennell, Bryce Heem and Warriors top try-scorer Cooper Vuna start in the back three.

In the forward pack, Jaba Bregvadze gets the nod at hooker next to Val Rapava Ruskin and Nick Schonert with Donncha O’Callaghan and Darren Barry in the second row.

Dewald Potgieter is set for his first Warriors start at blindside flanker next to Carl Kirwan and skipper GJ van Velze.

Ryan said: “Every week is an opportunity. We’ve been pretty impressed with the effort of our guys especially last weekend in response to that blip against London Irish.

“Sale are the form team at the moment. Taking Exeter Chiefs at home is a significant scalp and they’ve got a lot of confidence. Steve Diamond does a great job of keeping them ticking along especially at home.

“We were frustrated that we didn’t get a bonus point up there so we’ll be looking to compete and put the pressure on at home.

“I thought the crowd were outstanding last time out. They give us every chance and we’re in a fight and need everybody helping us.”
 
Warriors

15 Chris Pennell
14 Bryce Heem
13 Wynand Olivier
12 Ryan Mills
11 Cooper Vuna
10 Tom Heathcote
9 Francois Hougaard

1. Val Rapava Ruskin
2. Jaba Bregvadze
3. Nick Schonert
4. Donncha O’Callaghan
5. Darren Barry
6. Dewald Potgieter
7. Carl Kirwan
8. GJ van Velze (C)
 
Replacements

16. Niall Annett
17. Na’ama Leleimalefaga
18. James Johnston
19. Dan Sanderson
20. Phil Dowson 
21. Luke Baldwin
22. Ryan Lamb
23. Andy Symons

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