Worcester Warriors coach Richard Hill makes Challenge Cup changes

Richard Hill

Worcester Warriors coach Richard Hill has rung the changes for his side's first two Challenge Cup matches.

With five bonus points to show for a disappointing, but encouraging start to the Premiership campaign, Worcester now face two apparently straightforward fixtures over successive weekends.

After this Saturday's trip to Basque country to face Bizkaia Gernika, they then host Italian minnows Rovigo.

"There's opportunities for one or two over the Challenge Cup," admits Hill.

"There's one or two desperate to get out there and prove they can play better."

No team has claimed more than the five bonus points Worcester had picked up so far this season before Sunday's 10-6 reverse against Wasps at Adams Park, their first try-scoring blank.

But they now have an ideal chance to get back to try-scoring ways before returning to Premiership duty against winless bottom club Sale in three weeks' time (26 October, 20:00 BST).

And backs Andy Short and Joe Carlisle, and forwards Ceri Jones, Blair Cowan and James Currie are among 10 changes.

After starting the season with narrow defeats by Bath and Leicester, Warriors drew 16-16 with Gloucester.

Hill's men then looked to have fully blossomed when they followed up their four late tries in the 37-31 defeat at Northampton by running in four more in the 35-11 home win over London Irish.

But they then failed to cross the opposition try line for the first time this season at Adams Park, in a game dubbed by Hill as "a shocker".

"Neither team played well," Hill told BBC Hereford & Worcester. "But we played worse.

"I've no idea why, but there were so many indvidual errors. Penalties at the scrum, mistakes at the line-out, people dropping balls, poor kicks, people missing touch from their own 22.

"Apart from the first two minutes, when Wasps got the try, it was a shocker.

"They had opportunities in our 22 and we certainly had lots in theirs, but you've got to turn that pressure into points.

"It's now a case of hard work and opportunities for new players and we'll see what comes out in three weeks' time when we get back to Premiership action against Sale."