Fixtures - Top Bar

Van Velze: young Warriors ready for Aviva Premiership Rugby challenge

Worcester Warriors captain GJ van Velze insists his side will be sticking to the winning formula that earned them their spot in the Aviva Premiership Rugby this season.

The versatile number eight was handed the captain's armband in his debut campaign at Sixways last term, leading Warriors back to the top flight at the first time of asking – scoring five tries in 23 appearances.

The new boys face a tough test when the season begins next weekend, welcoming a Northampton Saints side desperate to regain the Aviva Premiership Rugby crown after the 2013/14 champions narrowly lost out to Saracens in last season’s semi-finals.

But with the clash finally looming after a long summer of preparation, van Velze is adamant that overhauling the squad was not the answer and that Worcester will put faith in their young guns once again.

“It’s been an extremely long preseason, but the boys have been working very hard and we’ve got quite a few new faces at the club which has been good to see,” he said.

“We just want to get going next week now. It’s extremely exciting to know that all of the hard work that’s been done out of the spotlight will be rewarded when we get the opportunity to play again in the Premiership.

“We’re quite a young squad, and quite a few of those younger members want to prove a point at this level, so words can’t express how excited we are to get started.

“We’re an interesting squad together, but we made that formula work last year and we’ll be sticking to it.

“It can both ways for the younger guys, as of course there is always the fear of the unknown to some extent, but the reason we play this game is to play at the top stage.

“So all the youngsters need to do is go out there and play with a bit of self-belief which in turn will create a lot of confidence. They’ve earned their chance to have a go at it.”

As well as nurturing their own youngsters, the Warriors have welcomed the likes of Donncha O'Callaghan, Phil Dowson and Wynand Olivier over the summer.

And van Velze believes having their experience will help the squad adapt to the pressures of playing in the Aviva Premiership Rugby in the coming months.

He added: “If you’ve a younger squad like we have and you’ve got the likes of Donncha O'Callaghan, Phil Dowson and Wynand Olivier coming in, they have so much experience to thrive off.

“When it comes to the structures of the week and then the way we play at a weekend, they are always people that can put their arm around the others.

“So from my point of view you can’t value how good they are going to be for the club.”

The 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby Season kicks off on 16 October. To see all of the fixtures click here.

Latest News

Northampton Saints’ Brookes prepared for sold-out East Midlands derby

Franklin’s Gardens will be sold out for the East Midlands derby between Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers and Kieran Brookes…

Impending fatherhood won’t distract centurion Francois Louw at Bath Rugby

It’s a big week for Bath Rugby’s François Louw, who will be making his 100th appearance for the side on…

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership action

After another 6 Nations has come and gone, the Aviva Premiership returns this weekend for the 18th round of games.…

Wasps team to play Worcester Warriors at the Ricoh Arena

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his side to face Worcester Warriors this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena, kick…

Dan Robson

Bath Rugby’s Louw to make 100th appearance against Saracens

Francois Louw will make his 100th appearance for Bath Rugby against Saracens at Allianz Park on Sunday, kick-off 15:00. The…

Francois Louw

Exeter Chiefs side to face Sale Sharks

Ali Hepher believes Exeter Chiefs still have areas to work on as their Aviva Premiership season heads towards the final…

Ben Moon

Leicester Tigers team news for return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action

Six Nations champions Ben Youngs and Dan Cole return to the Leicester Tigers team for Saturday's Aviva Premiership derby against…

Ben Youngs

Sale Sharks Team News to face Exeter Chiefs

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Exeter Chiefs on Saturday at Sandy Park in the Aviva Premiership…

Andrei Ostrikov

Saracens name side to face Bath Rugby

Saracens have named their side to face Bath for Sunday’s round 18 Aviva Premiership clash at Allianz Park, kick-off 15h00.…

Alex Goode

Northampton Saints team news for Leicester Tigers clash

The Northampton Saints team has been announced for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership derby against Leicester. With five rounds to play both…

Dylan Hartley

Worcester Warriors unchanged for West Midlands derby

Warriors name an unchanged starting 15 as they return to Aviva Premiership action against Wasps in the West Midlands derby…

Josh Adams

Sonatane Takulua and Newcastle Falcons set sights on double over Harlequins

Sonatane Takulua is hoping history repeats itself as Newcastle Falcons eye up an Aviva Premiership Rugby double over Harlequins. This…

13 return for Harlequins ahead of Newcastle Falcons

Harlequins has named the squad to play Newcastle Falcons in Round 18 of the Aviva Premiership at The Stoop on…

Dave Ward

Newcastle Falcons team to face Harlequins

Mark Wilson moves forward to the second row as Newcastle Falcons shuffle their pack for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership trip to…

Mark Wilson

Semesa Rokoduguni not underestimating importance of Saracens test for Bath Rugby

Following a two-week break, the Aviva Premiership Rugby springs back into action this weekend, bringing with it a key run…

Round 18 Preview: Saracens v Bath Rugby

Jack Nowell relishing Exeter Chiefs return

Cornishman Jack Nowell says he cannot wait to pull on an Exeter Chiefs jersey again as he gears up for…

Jack Nowell

Mark Jennings Signs New Two Year Deal

Sale Sharks are delighted to announce that centre Mark Jennings has signed a new two year deal with the club.…

Mark Jennings

Team News: Bristol Rugby vs Gloucester Rugby

Sam Jeffries is set for his first Aviva Premiership start when Bristol host Gloucester in the West Country derby on…

Billy Searle

Gloucester Rugby name side for West Country derby at Bristol

Henry Trinder will make his first start in the Aviva Premiership this season as Gloucester make seven changes to their…

Henry Trinder