WARRIORS director of rugby Gary Gold is confident his side can fight their way through this month’s tough fixtures against three of last year’s Premiership semi-finalists.
Worcester entertain Wasps at Sixways on Sunday (3pm), before hosting reigning champions Exeter Chiefs, travelling to Kingsholm to take on Gloucester and rounding off September with the visit of European champions Saracens.
But the Worcester chief is optimistic his side can go ‘toe-to-toe’ with the league’s top sides if they can build early leads and close games out – something Warriors struggled to achieve through much of last season.
“We realise we’ve got quite a tough task ahead of us in these first round of games against the top teams from last year,” said Gold.
“But I think it’s swings and roundabouts. You have to play every team twice. I’m probably quite happy to be playing them at this stage of the season as there’s a lot of optimism around at the moment. We’ve got a lot to prove and we’re confident we can keep fighting.
“I don’t want to oversell ourselves this season but I don’t want to undersell ourselves either. We’ve gone toe-to-toe with some of the top teams and been in a fight for a large portion of the those, if you consider the Wasps, Bath, Saracens and Exeter games last year to a degree.
“In a couple of the fixtures (ahead) we need to hopefully open up a bit more of a lead, particularly at home, and close games out. That’s what the challenge is going to be this year.
“We’re more confident in facing those bigger sides than we were last year, but again I don’t want us to get ahead of ourselves. They’re class outfits and we still have a way to go before we can consistently compete with the top four to five teams in the Premiership.
“But on our day, if we’re in a position where we can pick the squad we want, then I’m very confident we can give them a good run for their money,” he added.