Worcester v Exiles: Teams
At Sixways Stadium, Saturday, April 25, kick-off 3pm
Last Updated: 24/04/09 2:47pm
Powell: Captaining Warriors
Scrum-half Matt Powell will skipper Worcester in his farewell appearance for the club at Sixways Stadium on Saturday.
Injuries to Ryan Powell, Willie Walker, Dale Rasmussen and Marcel Garvey mean the Warriors are forced into a reshuffle in the back-line that sees Rico Gear move to outside centre, with Miles Benjamin and Charlie Fellows coming on to the wings.
Lock Greg Rawlinson and flanker Pat Sanderson add to the injured list and are replaced by Will Bowley and James Collins.
Chris Fortey is preferred to Aleki Lutui for the hooking spot in a switch from the match last week.
Matthew Jones is replaced by Joe Carlisle and Mike Ruddock has tipped his young fly-half to take the chance to shine in the final league game of the season.
"Joe gets the opportunity at fly-half and I'm sure, like all the other players, he will be keen to put in a performance ahead of the semi-final," said Ruddock.
"He showed last year in the European final, when he came on a set up a try and then slotted a difficult conversion, that he has the ability and I'm sure he will take his latest opportunity.
"There were a lot of tired and sore bodies after a heroic defensive display against Gloucester, but we have named a team that can get a result against London Irish while we will also preserve our energy and fitness ahead of the game with Bourgoin."
The Warriors have won their last three games in all competitions, and have also won their last three games at Sixways since Northampton triumphed there, 22-12, in the Guinness Premiership on March 7.
Exiles make changes
Bob Casey will lead London Irish in the club's final match of the regular Premiership season with his side requiring just two points to guarantee a place in the top four.
Casey is reunited with Nick Kennedy in the second row of an Exiles pack that has two other changes to the one that started against Northampton last Saturday.
Danie Coetzee starts in place of the injured David Paice at hooker and Declan Danaher takes over at blind-side flanker from Richard Thorpe who occupies the bench.
Among the backs Delon Armitage moves to full-back with Peter Richards coming in at outside centre.
"Worcester will want to carry the momentum of Tuesday's win over Gloucester into their semi-final in the European Challenge Cup next weekend given that their Guinness Premiership season is effectively over," said London Irish head coach Toby Booth.
"Having said that, the Warriors always provide stiff opposition at home so we know we're in for another competitive match.
"After 21 rounds of the Premiership we're still in control of our destiny and will be going all out to achieve a top four finish."
The Exiles have tripped up in their last two games to Bourgoin and Northampton, whilst away from home they are winless in the Premiership since a trip to Bristol at the end of November.
They have reigned supreme in the last six Premiership encounters with Worcester, though, with the Warriors' last victory at Sixways in October, 2008.
Worcester: 15 Loki Crichton, 14 Charlie Fellows, 13 Rico Gear, 12 Alex Grove, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Joe Carlisle, 9 Matt Powell (c), 8 Netani Talei, 7 James Collins, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Will Bowley, 4 Graham Kitchener, 3 Darren Morris, 2 Chris Fortey, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Shaun Ruwers 17 Aleki Lutui 18 David Lyons 19 Jake Abbott 20 Jonny Arr 21 George Crook 22 Michael Penn.
London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Richards, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Sailosi Tagickibau, 10 Peter Hewat, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Chris Hala'Ufia, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Bob Casey (c), 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Richard Skuse, 2 Danie Coetzee, 1 Clarke Dermody.
Replacements: 16 Alex Corbisiero, 17 James Buckland, 18 Gary Johnson, 19 James Hudson, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Topsy Ojo, 22 Mike Catt.