FLANKER Sam Betty is poised to make his 100th appearance for Worcester Warriors after being named in the starting line-up to face Zebre tomorrow (Saturday).
The 29-year-old has been a key figure for Worcester since arriving from Cornish Pirates four years ago and he will achieve the milestone in Parma where his side will be hoping to secure back-to-back victories in the European Challenge Cup.
Warriors have made seven changes from the team that defeated La Rochelle 19-3 last Saturday, with Georgian international hooker Jaba Bregvadze and academy prop Gareth Milasinovich set to make their full debuts.
JB Bruzulier returns from his loan spell with Clermont to captain the side at scrum-half, while Alex Grove and Perry Humphreys also come into the backline.
In the forward pack, Dan Sanderson makes his first showing since helping Warriors win the British & Irish Cup in April and Marco Mama replaces Matt Cox at number eight.
Head coach Carl Hogg said the fixture offered him and director of rugby Dean Ryan the chance to look at players who have been knocking at their door for a regular starting place.
However, he insisted Warriors would not be underestimating their Italian opponents and urged his side to go on the attack at the Sergio Lanfranchi ground.
“They are very strong at home and they have a lot of Italian internationals so they have got a lot of experience,” he said.
“We know we can step up our game from last weekend and this will be an opportunity to impose our game on them and attack the way we want to.
“Last weekend it was all about getting the set piece right, getting field position and putting the opposition in the squeeze – it was almost a benefit not to have the ball.
“But hopefully in Italy it will be a little bit dryer and we will have an opportunity to go there and express ourselves.”
Warriors’ side to face Zebre tomorrow (Saturday): Howard, Humphrey, Stelling, Grove, Hammond, Lamb, Bruzulier (C), Bower, Bregvadze, Milasinovich, Sanderson, O’Shea, Kirwan, Betty, Mama
Replacements: Sowrey, Appiah, Rees, Barry, Cox, Mulchrone, Mills, Biggs