Horstmann returns for Worcester’s Bath time

Back row Kai Horstmann returns to the starting line-up for Worcester Warriors as they entertain Bath Rugby in the Guinness Premiership at Sixways Stadium on Friday night (kick-off 8pm).


Horstmann, who has been out of action since mid-September, returns to the pack for his fourth league appearance of the campaign.


Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock makes a total of 13 changes to the line-up that faced Scarlets in the Anglo Welsh LV= Cup last weekend as he recalls those who were rested for the trip to Wales.


Samoan centre Dale Rasmussen will make his first league start of the season while Chris Latham, Sam Tuitupou and Miles Benjamin return in the backs.


Prop Tevita Taumoepeau is declared fit to take his spot in the pack after recovering from a back injury.


“We’re looking forward to the game,” said Ruddock.

 

“We rested up a few guys for this fixture and we expect them to go in with plenty of energy and plenty of edge.

“It was in our best interests to freshen players up, use the six-day turnaround to properly prepare a team without the distraction of injuries.


“We want to go into Friday confident and fully firing. That has what has happened this week, preparations have been good and Pat Sanderson has told me this is the most fresh he has felt for quite a while.


“That is good to hear and now we must try and translate that onto the park to get a positive result.”


Ruddock believes the battle of the breakdown will, once again, prove crucial to the outcome of the game this week.


“I am a big fan of Bath because they play some top rugby,” he said.


“They probably won’t want a set piece game with us, I think they will want to play with width and tempo, play an off loading game. It will be a tough task to bottle them up and keep them confined.


“The breakdown will once again be very important. They want quick ball so we have got to try and turn them over and force some mistakes in deep areas.


“We want to play some open and attractive rugby and test them, look for the space rather than the man.


“But when they have the ball we are aware of their pace and ability to move the ball quickly through hands, we need to try and pressure them and tackle effectively.”


Warriors vs Bath Rugby


15 Chris Latham, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Dale Rasmussen, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Willie Walker, 9 Ryan Powell,1 Callum Black, 2 Aleki Lutui, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 4 Greg Rawlinson, 5 Craig Gillies, 6 Tom Wood, 7 Pat Sanderson (c), 8 Kai Horstmann


Replacements: 16 Adam Black, 17 Chris Fortey, 18 Olivier Sourgens, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Jake Abbott, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Calum MacRae,23 Rico Gear

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