Preview: Worcester v Stade Francais

Date published: November 10 2011

Worcester have made four changes for the Amlin Challenge Cup opener against Stade Francais on Thursday.

Worcester have made four changes for the Amlin Challenge Cup opener against Stade Francais on Thursday.
Richard Hill will be without the suspended Miles Benjamin who is replaced on the wing by Tom Arscott. Full-back Chris Pennell, flanker Matt Kvesic and prop Oliver Tomaszczyk also return to the starting XV.
Meanwhile, despite impressing at fly-half for Stade against Clermont over the weekend, Felipe Contepomi moves to outside centre where he joins compatriot Gonzalo Tiesi in the midfield.
The Stade pack possess an impressive six internationals and promises to prove a handful for the home side.
Hill is well aware of the challenge the French giants pose although he retains fond memories of securing a 17-10 win over them in 2007 when he was at Bristol.
“It is a similar sort of situation,” said Hill.
“They (Stade) always have always had a star-studded team and they are a great team.
“Individually they are a fantastic team with the likes of Byron Kelleher, Felipe Contepomi and Sergio Parisse, probably the best number eight in the world.
“They have all these stars and as a team that plays against them you have to hope the sum of all your parts is stronger than the individuals.
“You have to work as a team and try and beat them with working together. If you don't defend well against them then you are in trouble.
“When I was at Bristol we really worked on our defence to try and close them down. The way our defence is going at the moment it is very water tight for most of the games. We need to put the squeeze on them.”

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Dale Rasmussen, 11 Tom Arscott, 10 Joe Carlisle, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Chris Jones, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Neil Best, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 James Percival, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 George Porter, 18 Tevita Taumoepeau, 19 Adam Balding, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Ollie Frost, 22 Andy Goode, 23 Errie Claassens.

Stade Francais: 15 Paul Williams, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Felipe Contepomi, 12 Gonzalo Tiesi, 11 Djibril Camara, 10 Paul Warwick, 9 Jerome Fillol, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 David Lyons, 6 Lei Tomiki, 5 Pascal Pape, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Stan Wright, 2 Aled De Malmanche , 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
Replacements: 16 Laurent Sempere, 17 Olivier Milloud, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Gerhard Mostert, 20 Antoine Burban, 21 Byron Kelleher, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Francis Fainifo

Date: Thursday, November 10
Venue: Sixways
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Dudley Phillips