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Preview: Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors

Preview: Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors

Worcester Warriors might have never tasted victory at Welford Road, but Leicester Tigers’ Niall Morris is taking nothing for granted ahead of this season’s Aviva Premiership opener.

The Tigers have won their last eight matches against Worcester, while the Warriors have never won on any of their previous 11 visits to Welford Road, dating all the way back to 1895.

And a quick glance at the form book gives little hope to Worcester fans of that changing any time soon, with Leicester losing just one of their last eight Premiership games, not to mention lifting the trophy at Twickenham four months ago.

However Morris, who scored the first try in the 37-17 Grand Final victory over Northampton Saints at Rugby HQ, knows that the record books need to be thrown out the window this time around.

It has been all change at Sixways this summer with Dean Ryan arriving as director of rugby and 25-year-old Morris is wary of the threat a new-look Warriors outfit could pose.

“Last season was great for us and for me personally, scoring a try on my first Twickenham outing and lifting the trophy,” he said.

“But we have to move on from that now and almost forget about and that involves getting off to a good start this season.

“That is easier said than done though because although we have a good record against Worcester they always give you a game.
“We will also be coming up against something of an unknown because they have Dean Ryan there and will have new faces in their line up I’m sure.

“So we will need to be on our game and ready to make sure we can get off to the perfect start.”

Not only do Worcester have a dismal record against Leicester, but they have also only ever won once in the opening round of matches – this coming in 2011 with victory against Sale Sharks.

The Warriors also finished off last season with five straight defeats and have not won away from home in the competition since a visit to London Wasps on New Year's Day 2012.

However new captain Jonathan Thomas believes taking on the Tigers first up could turn out to be a blessing in disguise as Worcester look to iron out the kinks in their new-look operation.

“Going to Leicester first game is great for us even if many people might think the opposite,” Thomas said.

“We’re all new in terms of learning new gameplans from new coaches, so it’s the benchmark for us.

“There’s no tougher place to go and we’ll be able to judge where we’re at and can see what we need to work on.” 

(Welford Road, 2pm)
Live on BT Sport
Luke Pearce (15th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Andy Watson & Greg Macdonald. TMO: David Grashoff.

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