Hill looking for strong start

PA Sport
Richard Hill wants his Worcester side to put a performance in for the full 80 minutes
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Richard Hill wants his Worcester side to put a performance in for the full 80 minutes

Worcester boss Richard Hill has put an emphasis on his players making a strong start in Sunday's Aviva Premiership clash against Wasps.

The Warriors head to Adams Park a fortnight after they fell 37-3 behind at Northampton, although they then scored 28 unanswered points to claim an unlikely losing bonus.

"If we had to criticise ourselves this season, it would be our inability to start strongly. Most of the games we've played we haven't started well," Hill said. "We are finishing strongly and scoring more points than the vast majority of teams in the league, but in the first quarter we are not so strong."

Former Northampton centre Jon Clarke will make his first start for Worcester as the Warriors look to build on last week's emphatic home success against Irish.

Wasps captain Hugo Southwell, meanwhile, has recovered from a hand injury to lead his team, with wing Tom Varndell replacing broken leg victim James Bailey and fly-half Stephen Jones taking over from Nicky Robinson. Suspended prop Tim Payne is replaced by Simon McIntyre.

Gavin Henson will make his first Premiership start for London Welsh on Sunday after recovering from a fractured cheekbone that delayed his season's entry. Henson replaces fly-half Gordon Ross, while there are also opportunities for wing Phil Mackenzie, centre James Lewis, hooker Dan George and flanker Mike Denbee.

"Having been given the opportunity by (London Welsh coach) Lyn Jones and the club to play in the Premiership, it was both disappointing and frustrating to pick up an injury against the Scarlets in pre-season," Henson said.

"However, the boys have done really well in the first five games, and now I just cannot wait to start playing my part with the rest of the team."

David Strettle, James Short and Charlie Hodgson all return to the Saracens back division, with Alex Goode, Chris Ashton and Owen Farrell among those rested on squad rotation.

Up-front, South African John Smit features at hooker, with lock George Kruis and flanker Andy Saull making their first starts of the season.

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