Worcester Warriors wing Cooper Vuna has warned his team-mates against complacency this weekend as they host Aviva Premiership Rugby’s bottom club London Irish at Sixways.
Just a matter of weeks ago the fixture would have been a bottom-of-the-table battle, but instead Worcester are looking up the table, rather than down, after three Premiership wins on the spin.
The Warriors have won their last three Premiership matches against Harlequins, Gloucester Rugby and Newcastle Falcons, but have never won four in a row in the history of the tournament – a statistic they are looking to change against the Exiles.
They have won their last two matches in Aviva Premiership Rugby at Sixways, against Sale Sharks and Gloucester, and Vuna insists they are very much the team in the ascendancy.
“Irish are going to be more confident after the win last week,” he said. “They played really well against Saracens in New York and they brought a lot of that into the game with Gloucester.
“Having beaten Gloucester last week and now with the game against us, they have a chance to get off the bottom of the table and also have a chance to establish themselves as not a team who are pushed around a bit.
“We have to play well against them and with it being at home, it will be an awesome game and a tough game.
“We do want to push hard to get above the guys on top of us and we want to take it further and establish ourselves as a team that came from nowhere and pushed as hard as we could.
“At the end of the year we want to see better results and then see where it takes us into the following year.”
London Irish's 23-18 victory at home to Gloucester on Sunday ended an unwanted run of five successive defeats.
The Exiles have not won successive encounters in Aviva Premiership Rugby since February 2014, while London Irish's solitary away win in any competition this season came on a trip to Agen in the European Challenge Cup in January.
London Irish's only defeat in their last 16 league encounters with the Warriors was 35-11 at Sixways in September 2012.
And wing Topsy Ojo admits confidence is sky-high in Reading presently after downing Gloucester last weekend.
“I’ve been impressed with Worcester recently,” he said. “They look a completely different outfit now, looking to move the ball more.
“If you pick up back-to-back wins, claim a victory away from home and then things look differently.
“They are going to be a completely different team to the one we played a few months back so we will need to be up to the challenge. It will be a huge task.
“I don’t know the maths but I would imagine if they won this weekend then they would be incredibly difficult to catch. I’m sure they will be thinking the same.
“There is a lot riding on this game for both teams and we have to make sure we are prepared as a team.”
Sixways, 5.30pm – Live on BT Sport
Referee: Greg Garner (95th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe & Jonathan Healy. TMO: Sean Davey.
If you want to be at the world's biggest club rugby final, this year's Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May, tickets are still available from premiershiprugby.com/final.