Mike Ruddock has warned his Worcester Warriors to expect Montpellier to adopt a liberated style and play without pressure when they face them in the Amlin Challenge Cup on Thursday night at Sixways Stadium (kick-off 7.45pm).
Montpellier have struggled for form and in the bottom half of the Top 14 in France this season.
But a much changed French side will visit Sixways and Ruddock believes they will use the match to express themselves and have no fear.
"We played Montpellier two years ago here and they defied all the background of earlier in the season when they were keeping the ball quite tight. Suddenly they were moving the ball around and they asked an awful lot of questions and played some fantastic rugby on the day," he said.
"We eventually won, but it was a great game and we really had to work hard in attack and defence to come through that test.
"I'm expecting the same again on this occasion. They haven't been doing so well in the domestic league and I think that they will see this as an opportunity to take some shackles off and play liberated, throw the ball around and try to score a big win away from home.
"They have some changes in their team and the boys coming in will probably want to show they should have been starting some earlier league matches. It all makes for a very good encounter.
"If Montpellier play to their potential they could top the group, you have only to look at the investment in their stadium. We are very proud of our stadium, but if you look at their home you can see how up to date it is.
"They have some talented players; you can see the investment there. We are not underestimating them at all."
Ruddock has named a strong team and given a number of players to show their worth in the starting line-up.
And the Director of Rugby believes his team will have to be at their best to progress in the Amlin Challenge Cup this season.
"It's great that we kick off at home - that is fantastic for us. We have a good record at Sixways so far this season and we are keen to keep that going," he said.
"I have picked a strong team to kick off this competition because we want to kick off in a positive fashion.
"The fact that some of the teams that would have been in the Heineken Cup now drop into this competition at the latter stages gives this tournament more credibility and makes it even more difficult to win. It's a positive move and makes it even more of a challenge.
"Over the years I have seen some great French teams go to Twickenham and Cardiff Arms Park and beat the host team in internationals. If a French team turns up with its head on it is a very dangerous one and so we will give Montpellier plenty of respect on day one."
Tickets remain on sale for Warriors against Montpellier in the Amlin Challenge Cup. For more details call the Warriors Box Office on 01905 454183 or visit the online ticketing section at www.warriors.co.uk
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