Worcester Warriors v Harlequins Premiership Preview

Worcester Warriors host Harlequins at Sixways Stadium

Harlequins have named a team with four changes for this Sunday’s Aviva Premiership match against Worcester Warriors at Sixways.

Harlequins drew with Gloucester in their last outing which was the Big Game 8 at Twickenham Stadium last week.

Charlie Walker and Ross Chisholm start on the wings as Adam Jones and Luke Wallace are named in the front and back rows respectively.

Among the replacements, Owen Evans will look to make his Aviva Premiership debut.

In injury news, Tim Visser is expected to be out for between six to eight weeks due to a hamstring injury sustained during Big Game 8.

Marland Yarde picked up a knock and will be available for selection next week, while Mark Lambert is expected to return in three weeks after straining his calf.

Worcester Warriors have lost their last six first team matches since beating La Rochelle 19-3 at Sixways on 14th November.

The Warriors 20-29 defeat to Leicester Tigers in their most recent home game in Aviva Premiership Rugby 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 have achieved a try bonus point in each of their last seven matches in all competitions.

Harlequins have won their last 14 Premiership Rugby encounters against the Warriors since Worcester’s 15-9 victory at the Twickenham Stoop in 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.

Worcester have named Marco Mama and Donncha O’Callaghan in their side as well as an unchanged backline from last weekend’s trip to Bath Rugby which sees Chris Pennell, Bryce Heem and Cooper Vuna in the back three with Ryan Mills and Wynand Olivier in the centre.

Tom Heathcote and Jonny Arr complete the half-back combination.

Na’ama Leleimalefaga, Niall Annett and Nick Schonert occupy the front row followed by O’Callaghan and Darren Barry in the second row.

Phil Dowson will once again lead the side from number eight next to openside flanker Mama and blindside Matt Cox.

Ryan Bower could be set for his first Aviva Premiership appearance for Warriors from the bench while Ben Sowrey and Gareth Milasinovich are also named among the replacements.

The game will mark Warriors’ annual Acorns Charity Matchday in which the players will play in special limited-edition shirts which can be bought from the Sixways Store with all proceeds going to the charity.

Warriors boss Dean Ryan said: “We’ve got a unique challenge defensively to cope with Harlequins’ speed of thought.

“Danny Care and Nick Evans play with an incredible tempo. The team play with a level of freedom that can catch you by surprise if you assume anything.

“But we’re at home and I’d like to think we can put a few things together that can put them under pressure.

“We look like we can score and we are scoring tries while our defence has been outstanding too under much pressure.

“You learn more when you’re competitive week in, week out and not just winning random games because of a dropped ball or something.

“We’re starting to get into good positions and now the group need to learn how to convert these close games into wins.”

The Bookies have given Worcester Warriors a 5 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to £200 in Bonus bets.

Match : Worcester Warriors v Harlequins
Date : Sunday 3 January
Venue : Sixways,
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N.A
Match Officials
Referee : Andrew Small (121st Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton & Nigel Carrick.
TMO: Geoff Warren.

Teams

Warriors

15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Phil Dowson (C), 7 Marco Mama, 6 Matt Cox, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Na’ama Leleimalefaga

Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Ryan Bower, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom Biggs

Harlequins

15. Mike Brown, 14. Charlie Walker, 13. George Lowe, 12. Jamie Roberts, 11. Ross Chisholm, 10. Nick Evans, 9. Danny Care (C), 8. Nick Easter, 7. Luke Wallace, 6. Chris Robshaw, 5. Charlie Matthews, 4. James Horwill, 3. Adam Jones, 2. Dave Ward, 1. Joe Marler

16. Rob Buchanan, 17. Owen Evans, 18. Kyle Sinckler, 19. George Merrick, 20. Jack Clifford, 21. Karl Dickson, 22. Ben Botica, 23. Harry Sloan

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