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Preview: Worcester Warriors v Bath Rugby

Preview: Worcester Warriors v Bath Rugby

Worcester skipper Dean Schofield has warned his side that they must hit the ground running in their Aviva Premiership season opener against Bath on Saturday after a summer of change at Sixways.

Schofield is one of a host of new faces to have arrived at the club this off season and has already been handed the captain’s armband.

Fellow new recruits include Jon Clarke, Paul Hodgson, Josh Matavesi, David Lemi and Nikki Walker and they will all need to be firing on all cylinders if they are to reinvigorate the Warriors who finished last season with four straight defeats.

Scoring tries was Worcester’s achilles heel last campaign, they failed to cross the whitewash in seven of their 22 league games and only won seven games in total.

But Schofield insists that after a strong pre-season he and his teammates are ready to put those wrongs right, starting at the Rec this weekend.

“Bath have impressed a lot of people in pre-season and so have we so it will be a good match,” he said.

“We will both want to keep the momentum going on Saturday and get a positive result.

“We've had 10 or 11 weeks of solid training during pre-season and all the players in the squad have worked ridiculously hard.

“We've had some good results but it's all been building to this opening game against Bath Rugby. September is a big month for us as we also have a home derby against Gloucester, and we need to pick up points early.”

Worcester have beaten Bath just once in their last ten meetings in all competitions since 2007: 16-7 at Sixways in the Aviva Premiership in November last year.

But this season sees a brand-new Bath side with former Springbok assistant Gary Gold at the helm in place of Sir Ian McGeechan.

The West Country outfit have made a number of off-season changes, particularly to the coaching set-up as Toby Booth, Mike Ford and Neal Hatley have all come on board.

And with new faces like Rob Webber and Horacio Agulla to inspire them on the pitch Gold is desperate to improve on Bath’s showing last season when they finished eighth in the Aviva Premiership, outside of the Heineken Cup spots.

“I think the fact of the confidence being low from last year is pretty much irrelevant really,” said Gold.

“When you start pre-season and, as coaching staff, we put our ideas forward to them and where you want to go with them, the lack of confidence goes out of the window.

“What we are able to do as coaching staff is sell them a plan that we believe works and when they see it working out on the training field, they gain confidence.’’

To see if Dean Schofield can begin his life as Worcester skipper with a win against Bath click here
 

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