Worcester Warriors boss Mike Ruddock admits the local derby with Gloucester will be a 'full on' encounter - and he expects his side to rise to the challenge.
A packed crowd is set to descend on Sixways Stadium for the crunch clash on Sunday (kick-off 3pm) with only a few hundred tickets now left on sale.
Director of Rugby Ruddock is set to unleash his new-look side on the local rivals and on the eve of the game he revealed what he is expecting come kick-off time.
"It's coming to the business end of the season and we need to perform," said Ruddock.
"Gloucester are a very quick team and very attack minded. If we are not fresh or lacking energy we will be put to the sword. We have freshened the guys up this week and we feel that will be good for the weekend.
"Both sides will be up for it. I'm sure they will be revving it up because we beat them last season for the first time in the league, they will have mentioned that this week.
"They will come at us full throttle and with the intensity you would expect from a local derby. It will be full on with two teams going at each other full pelt.
"We have too good a team to be where we are but the table doesn't lie and we have missed opportunities to nail points and we have underperformed at times," he added.
"We have had injuries with people like Matthew Jones and Sam Tuitupou out for long periods, that has been a blow to us, but we can't hide behind that and we should have done better.
"Sometimes you need a big test to bring the best out of you - that happened a few weeks ago when we played Wasps.
"We have got another big one this week in the table toppers and I expect it to bring the best out of us."
Ruddock has made four changes to the starting line-up that faced London Irish and he believes these changes will benefit his side.
"We have made a number of changes and have freshened things up, we have also brought in players because of the energy and enthusiasm we felt we were missing last Sunday," he said.
"James Collins comes into the back row and he is a real livewire, he has been waiting for his chance to get back into the team.
"He was man-of-the-match when we played away at Wasps earlier in the season but then got injured for a significant period. He now has an opportunity.
"Callum Black comes into the front row; he is a good player with a big future ahead of him. It will be a big test for him in the Guinness Premiership but he is another product of our Academy system and if he nails this opportunity it would be a great chance for him.
"Matthew Jones sneaks onto the bench, he has been out since November and we have really missed him.
"We have also gone for as much pace as possible out wide with Rico Gear moving to centre and Miles Benjamin and Marcel Garvey both starting on the wing. If we do get quick ball we have strike runners who can do damage."
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