Planet Rugby

Ryan wary of Oyonnax

09th October 2013 10:18


Dean Ryan v Newcastle

Tough start: Dean Ryan

Dean Ryan has admitted things will be no smoother for Worcester Warriors in the Challenge Cup after their dismal early-season Aviva Premiership form.

The director of rugby has presided over a team that remains winless from their opening five games, and currently prop up the English table.

Ryan though sought to dispel any notion that Challenge Cup duty will prove to be any kinder than the Warriors' domestic campaign to date.

Worcester kick-off their European season with a visit to newly-promoted Top 14 side Oyonnax.

With the French side overcoming illustrious opponents such as Heineken Cup champions Toulon, Clermont, Biarritz and Top14 champions Castres at home, Ryan is under no illusions that the fixture will offer reprieve for his flagging squad.

"I wish it did," he told the ERC website.

"Oyonnax away doesn't sound like the easiest place to go, as Toulon, Clermont and everyone else have found out.

"It will be a challenge for us. But we do have to freshen the group up. We don't have a huge amount of choice but we've got to find some way of doing that otherwise we're going to blow up with the 14 or 15 guys who are going out every week."

Ryan concedes that confidence and morale is low among the Sixways side at present, thanks chiefly to such a poor start to the Premiership.

With several close calls in recent games ending in narrow defeat = including last week's 16-11 loss at the hands of Newcastle Falcons - it is little surprise the Warriors are in less than buoyant mood going into the first round of Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures.

"If anyone can tell me how you gain confidence when you're losing games, then I'm all ears. It's pretty obvious that losing games in the manner like we lost this one to Newcastle and the London Irish one saps confidence," said Ryan.

"I know what everyone's writing about us, and we probably deserve that. When you look at possession and field position, we probably should have won it (against Newcastle). We can't buy a win at the moment.

"I see enough that we've got a sound attacking game, I see enough that we've got an understanding of what we're trying to do in managing a game, I just don't see it happening enough. But that's just us growing as a group."

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Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
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Amlin Challenge Cup
Sunday , April 6
Bath 39 - 7 BriveBath vs Brive Report
Wasps 36 - 24 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
Friday , April 4
Stade Francais 6 - 29 HarlequinsStade Francais vs Harlequins Report
Thursday , April 3
Sale Sharks 14 - 28 Northampton
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Pool 1
Amlin Challenge Cup Table
1Sale Sharks623
Pool 2
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4Mogliano Rugby60
Pool 3
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2Newcastle Falcons619
Pool 4
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1London Wasps627
Pool 5
Amlin Challenge Cup Table
1Stade Francais624
2London Irish624
3Cavalieri Prato611