WARRIORS director of rugby Gary Gold has admitted he still has a few tough decisions to make in picking his starting 15 for Friday’s Premiership curtain-raiser against Newcastle.
The Sixways side head to Kingston Park (kick-off 7.45pm) with Gold knowing how important it is to get off to a good start away from home if the club are to avoid any ‘headaches’ come Christmas time – Warriors have not won on the road in the Premiership since March, 2016.
The Worcester chief juggled his side around in their pre-season outings against Hartpury RFC, Birmingham Moseley and Munster and despite being happy with the players at his disposal, he still has yet to make a final decision on starting places.
“We’ve seen a lot of players go across the summer, but we haven’t made many signings. By and large we’ve kept the group together, so I’m happy with what we’ve got,” he said.
“All the players offer different things, so we’ve got a couple of headaches (in terms of selection).
“I have a huge amount of satisfaction from our pre-season performances. I’m really proud of the guys.
“About 70 to 80 per cent of the side that started last week against Munster will start on Friday against Newcastle. I have a couple of tough selection decisions to make but there’s no new injury concerns.
“I’ve seen promising signs from the pre-season, but from a coaching perspective when you make mass changes throughout games there’s going to be some chaos.
Gold’s side concluded their pre-season programme with a 35-26 defeat to Munster despite leading 26-14 at the break.
The South African was satisfied with the performance against the Irish outfit after branding the 24-15 reverse to Birmingham Moseley as poor.
“A good start is really important in the Premiership as everyone knows, whether you’re home or away,” said Gold.
“It’s a big incentive, so we want to really try and avoid having a headache at Christmas time.”