Worcester v Saracens Anglo Welsh LV= Cup preview

Worcester Warriors host Northampton Saints at Sixways Stadium

Worcester Warriors have made five changes to the starting line-up that will face Saracens with a place in the Anglo Welsh LV Cup Semi-finals at stake.

Worcester Warriors need a bonus point victory to keep their slim hopes alive for a first ever Anglo-Welsh LV Cup semi-final spot, but may already be out if Sale gain a single league point from their earlier match.

The Warriors only defeat in their last ten encounters at Sixways in all competitions was to Leicester on 4 January. Saracens may already be eliminated if London Irish did enough to qualify on Friday at Cardiff.

If not Sarries will need to outscore the Exiles by at least one match point to progress to a first LV= Cup semi-final since 2010.

Saracens have won their last seven matches in all competitions. The two clubs have mer once before in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, at Vicarage Road in round three last season with Saracens winning 41-14.

Saracens have not won at Sixways in any competition since October 2007 (21-16) in the Premiership.

Worcester Head Coach Richard Hill has made three changes to his pack as James Percival, who climbed off the bench last weekend to score at London Irish, is named captain in the second row.

Hooker Aleki Lutui and prop John Andress are also called-up into the front row to pack down with Ceri Jones.

Fly half Andy Goode returns in the back line alongside Chris Pennell, who recently committed his future to the club by signing a new contract.

Matt Kvesic returns from his time with the England squad to be named among the replacements alongside Neil Best and Paul Hodgson.

Warriors face a stern task to quality for the last four but Hill has vowed his team will be going all out for a positive performance before league hostilities return next weekend.

“Qualification is hard and we need to get a win while other results are out of our hands. But we still need a good performance going into the resumption of the Aviva Premiership,” he said.

“Last weekend our set piece was good and our attack play was promising as we scored three tries away from home in the second half. Our discipline, by only conceding ten penalties, was also encouraging.

“Our defence was not as strong as it should be, but that has been addressed this week and there is no doubt about that. Phil Larder has been in and the players are under no illusions that that performance was totally unacceptable. It will be put right.

“You have to use the cup games to try out things and work on your attacking game. The tries we are scoring now are not as a result of opposition mistakes, ours are well worked scores and that is very important. We now need to address the balance between defence and attack and get the right result.”

Meanwhile Saracens have named Sam Stanley, Petrus Du Plessis, Justin Melck and Ernst Joubert among those coming into the starting line-up for the game.

Jack Wilson, on loan from Bay of Plenty, gets his first start on the wing while Bedford Blues’ Alex Rae is in the second row.

Jersey prop Richard Barrington is named on a replacement’s bench that also sees back row Jackson Wray return from injury.

Match : Worcester Warriors (Pool 2) v Saracens (Pool 3)
Date : Saturday 2nd Feb
Venue : Sixways
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N/A
Match Officials
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth (RFU) 13th competition game
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe, Paul Dix.



15 Chris Pennell , 14 Josh Drauniniu , 13 Jon Clarke , 12 Josh Matavesi , 11 David Lemi , 10 Andy Goode , 9 Jonny Arr , , 1 Ceri Jones , 2 Aleki Lutui , 3 John Andress , 4 James Percival (c) , 5 Craig Gillies , 6 Richard De Carpentier , 7 Jake Abbott , 8 Blair Cowan , ,


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