Jake Abbott insists Worcester Warriors will be keeping a close eye on two of their former heroes when they travel to London Wasps on Saturday.
Despite a new feeling around Sixways, Dean Ryan’s arrival as director of rugby has failed to help the Warriors turn their fortunes around out on the pitch.
They have lost their first three clashes of the campaign and sit bottom with just a single point, while they are in the midst of an eight-game losing streak since beating Wasps 29-23 at Sixways in March.
The Warriors have also not won away from home in the Aviva Premiership since they visited Adams Park on New Year's Day 2012 and beat their hosts 6-0.
Worcester have also failed to score a try at Saturday’s venue since Sam Tuitupou's effort in September 2008, but Abbott is almost more concerned with the opposition this weekend than he is with his own team as he prepares to face two former teammates.
“We’re expecting tough games from Andy Goode and Matt Mullan, the two lads who were previously involved at Worcester,” he said. “I think they are going to be really up for it.
“Andy Goode knows how to run a team and is massively experienced so I’m expecting them to play with a lot of width, and to try and get it out to Christian Wade and the guys out wide.
“I’m expecting Wasps to try and drive against us so our drive defence needs to be as good as it can be, as I think it’s going to be quite an expansive game – they do have one hell of a backline.
“With all the changes we’ve had with Dean we’re really stepping into the unknown now, so we should be able to put our previous run in away games behind us.
“We’re trying to work on our team mentality and just treat this game like any other, home or away and hopefully we can come out on top.”
If you think Worcester are on a bad run of form then that is nothing compared to Wasps, who have lost their last 11 matches in all competitions.
They have never started a league campaign with four-straight losses and prop Mullan is adamant their three losing bonus points so far this term show they are there or thereabouts to prevent do so this time around.
“We went up to Sale full of confidence but coming away with a bonus point was not what we were hoping for, but we didn’t perform so we can’t really complain,” Mullan said.
“Each game we have lost has been different I think as against Quins we probably should have held on and then in the next two we did well to come back.
“So I think that this shows that we have everything there but it is just about putting it all together for the full 80 minutes.
“We need to get up and running sooner than later so fingers crossed we get it all right this weekend.”
Referee: Greg Garner (52nd Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank & Andrew Pearce. TMO: David Grashoff.