Premiership: Worcester Warriors v Wasps
|Venue: Sixways Date: Saturday, 1 September Kick-off: 15:00 BST Coverage: Updates on BBC local radio and live scores on the BBC Sport website|
Worcester start the new Premiership season without injured England centre Ben Te’o, but have Kiwi winger Bryce Heem back from injury to face Wasps.
Two new signings, Springbok Francois Venter and Scotland fly-half Duncan Weir start, while prop Callum Black begins his second spell with the club.
Dai Young’s Wasps have two players, fly-half Billy Searle and flanker Joe Atkinson, making their debut.
Wasps’ England regulars Elliot Daly and captain Joe Launchbury both play.
Seven-times capped England winger Christian Wade makes his first return to Sixways since scoring six tries in one afternoon three seasons ago, while another new signing, England prop Kieran Brookes, from Northampton, starts on the bench.
Warriors begin the campaign without two of their new signings, former Jersey centre Scott Van Breda (shoulder) and hooker Isaac Miller, who could be out for a while after fracturing his collar bone.
Utility back Jamie Shillcock is also sidelined for a fortnight with a knee injury.
Worcester Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons:
“The competition this year will be fierce. We have simply got to focus on our own performances.
“When we performed well last season we showed that we could compete against any side in the Premiership but we were unable to do that consistently.
“All sides are going to be underdone going into the first game. But by the time six games are over everyone will be pretty well done.”
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young:
“We played them twice last season and struggled against them twice, so we’ve got respect for them. We’re going to have to play really well. We’re expecting a real tough game.
“They’re very physical up front and very direct. They don’t play much rugby in their own half, very much of a South African approach.
“They have a very strong kicking game, big press from the defence. They are very direct as they get into your half, will take you on physically and a good set piece.”
Worcester: Pennell; Heem, Venter, Mills, Adams; Weir, Hougaard; Black, Annett, Schonert, Bresler, Barry, Faosiliva, Lewis, van Velze (capt).
Replacements: Taufete’e, Bower, Kerrod, Kitchener, du Preez, Arr, Lance, Beck.
Wasps: Miller; Wade, Daly, De Jongh, Bassett; Searle, Robson; Harris, Cruse, Stuart, Launchbury (capt), Rowlands, Carr, Atkinson, Hughes.
Replacements: Taylor, Zhvania, Brookes, Matthews, Johnson, Simpson, Lovobalavu, Watson.