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Preview: Worcester Warriors v Harlequins

Preview: Worcester Warriors v Harlequins

Flanker Marco Mama believes the home game with Harlequins will be a real test of how far his Worcester Warriors’ side have come since their return to Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Worcester have enjoyed a solid start to life back in English rugby’s top flight and currently sit tenth in the table despite losing their last six matches in all competitions.

On Sunday Warriors welcome a side who currently occupy the fourth play-off place and will be targeting the Aviva Premiership Rugby title this season after a disappointing campaign last time out.

And Mama, who is on loan from Bristol Rugby, said: “There are no easy games at this level but we know Harlequins will be very strong. You really want to win your home games so the pressure is always on.

“We’ve had some great form at Sixways so far so we’re feeling positive but it will be a big test for us.

“It will give us an idea of how far we’ve come and if we can pick up a result that will really help us going forward.”

Worcester’s 20-29 defeat to Leicester Tigers in their most recent Aviva Premiership Rugby home game ended a three-game home winning run in the tournament.

Harlequins have lost just one of their last nine fixtures in all tournaments: 25-26 to Exeter at Sandy Park in round 5 of Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Harlequins are in good form in attack too having achieved a try bonus point in each of their last seven matches in all competitions.

The visitors also enjoy a fine record against Worcester, having won their last 14 Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters against the Warriors since February 2005.

Harlequins lost on their first ever visit to Sixways in October 2004 but have won all nine subsequent visits to the venue in all tournaments against all opponents.

And head coach Conor O’Shea said was looking to get 2016 off to a strong start.

"We are excited and we are very ambitious this year,” he said. “There is such a long way to go but it is nice to have a few points on the board.

"As a squad we have got a few knocks and bruises, nothing long-term. It will be survival of the fittest and we know this is a very important mini block of the league.

"There is a really good buzz around the place. Everyone always says it's going to be the hardest Premiership it has ever been but I think this year, partly because of the schedule, it is going to be brutal.

"You have to be prepared to understand that things are going to go wrong for you and it is going to be the teams that don't over react and keep their cool who come out on top."

Sixways, 3pm – Live on BT Sport

Referee: Andrew Small (121st Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton & Nigel Carrick.
TMO: Geoff Warren.

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