GIANT lock Will Spencer believes Warriors’ European Challenge Cup clashes against Brive and Connacht will provide the perfect springboard to improve their Premiership results.
Worcester, who have yet to win this season, begin their European campaign on Saturday when they host French outfit Brive at Sixways (kick-off 3pm), and the 6ft 7in forward is looking forward to using the tournament to freshen up ready for the next block of Premiership games.
The club will be familiar with Top 14 side Brive having played them at the same stage of the competition last year, where they lost 25-24 at Sixways and 17-14 at the Stade Amédée-Domenech.
Spencer and his teammates could come up against former Warriors players James Johnston and Na’ama Leleimalefaga, who both joined Brive in the summer.
The Sixways side then travel to Galway the following Saturday to take on Pool 5 opponents Connacht at the Sportsground, before returning to Premiership action with a trip to Harlequins at the end of the month.
“It’s very frustrating sitting where we are in the league with no wins, but we don’t think we’re far away from the results we need,” said the former Bath lock. “It’s nice to now be involved in a different competition. I really enjoyed Europe last year, especially the away trip to Brive which we narrowly lost.
“I think it’s good for the boys to be in a different environment. We can use Europe as a springboard to turnaround our tough start to the Premiership. It’ll be good to have a break, freshen up and refresh mentally.
“Hopefully we can return to the Premiership after this two-week window rejuvenated with two wins and two good performances, so we can hit the ground running.”
Spencer, who has recently returned from an ankle injury he suffered in Warriors’ opening Premiership match against Newcastle, is hoping to use Europe to get more game time and return to the form of last season, which saw him rewarded with a call-up to an England training camp in the summer.
“It was a scary one (the ankle injury). When I first felt it I thought it was something serious but the pain then subsided and I managed to get through the rest of the game,” he added.
“When I had the scan I wasn’t expecting it to come back quite as bad as it did, but luckily the medical team were fantastic and everything went really smoothly. Just like clockwork I was back in training after three weeks and it’s great to be back now.
“I love playing for Worcester so I’m glad to have got this little niggle out the way. I can now focus on getting back to being 100 per cent match fit.”