Matt Cox admits he is delighted to be back from injury and lining up in the Worcester Warriors side preparing to take on Enisei-STM in the European Rugby Challenge Cup on Saturday.
The English forward has missed the start of the season in which Worcester have found consistency hard to come by, with two draws and a victory over Newcastle Falcons to their names, leaving them 11th in the Aviva Premiership Rugby standings.
Director of rugby Carl Hogg will be hoping a break from league action can spark an improvement in their fortunes, but they face a tough test all the way across the continent in Russia.
Enisei-STM became the first ever Russian side to qualify for a major European competition last term, but Cox is simply relishing a return to the pitch from injury for his first start of the season.
“It’ll be good to be back,” he said.
“I had a bit of a nightmare start to the season. It was the last pre-season training session before we played Clermont in a friendly and my hamstring went. It’s put me out for a long time.
“I managed to get a couple of minutes against Newcastle and another 20 at Leicester Tigers so I’ve got a few taster games under my belt. It will be great to get a bit of contact and some more minutes. I’m feeling good at the minute.
“We’ve got to be fairly confident in what we do. The draws with Gloucester Rugby and Sale Sharks for example, we should have won those games considering where we were at points in the game. We were pretty frustrated, it’s just little mistakes and little errors.
“Sometimes we give away a soft penalty or an easy way out. We need to be able to turn it on the opposition and put them under a bit more pressure.”
Worcester have rested a few players in Krasnoyarsk but for the likes of Cox that represents the perfect opportunity to stake a claim for a regular starting spot.
He added: “It’s a chance to use some of the squad that haven’t played as much. It’s good to see some of the boys getting a chance that have been playing on Monday nights or are coming back from injury like myself, and an opportunity for them to finally get their season underway.
“A lot of the boys definitely want to prove their worth. They have a point to prove. Some of them haven’t played so it’s a good chance for us to gel a bit more as a team.
“There’s no doubt that the boys will have a lot of energy, particularly the youngsters, so we just need to focus on using that energy in the right way.”