WORCESTER Warriors begin their European excursions with a tough test at Stade Francais Paris in the Challenge Cup this weekend – with director of rugby Alan Solomons vowing the club will utilise their squad for the upcoming clashes.
Speaking before handing over control of the team to head coach Rory Duncan for the five-week block of European Challenge Cup and Premiership Rugby Cup fixtures, Solomons said competition for places would be enhanced between now and the return of the Gallagher Premiership next month.
“The European matches will give an opportunity for guys who have not been involved as much to put their hands up and show they should be considered,” he said.
“The lads who have played week in, week out for us will be given a rest after the Gallagher Premiership block. We have genuine competition for places. That is healthy and the players who play in Europe will compete.”
Warriors go into their cup challenges on the back of an exhilarating display of attacking rugby which saw them run in seven tries in a record-breaking 52-7 win over Bristol Bears – their first at Sixways this season.
Warriors recovered superbly after leaking an early try to Bristol loosehead prop Yann Thomas and hit the visitors with a burst of four tries in 25 minutes which gave them the bonus point before half-time.
Two more tries in the first seven minutes of the second half ensured there was never any threat of Bristol staging the sort of comeback that Leicester Tigers mounted two weeks ago.
Solomons had urged his players to turn pressure into points and Warriors did just that with a ruthless attacking display.
Warriors were equally impressive in defence where, after an early lapse, they soaked up periods of Bristol pressure and did not concede a point for the last 76 minutes.
Speaking to Warriors TV after the game, Solomons said: “The fans were absolutely marvellous, they are here through thick and thin, they aren’t here today and gone tomorrow. They make a huge difference with their encouragement.
“We have come away with 13 points from the first block of games which I am relatively happy about. The boys have done well, the Premiership is a marathon and not a sprint and we have made a good start.
The Warriors chief also confirmed he had met with new owner Jed McCrory following his takeover of the Sixways side last week.
“He wants to do good things with the club so it’s positive. We always get on with our jobs and don’t worry about the things we don’t control but it’s positive for the club that the sale has now gone through,” he added.