Mike Ruddock has revealed recent signing Chris Cracknell is set for his long-awaited Worcester Warriors debut in the LV= Cup clash with Gloucester at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
Highly rated England Sevens ace Cracknell joined Warriors in mid December on a deal until the end of this season.
The 25-year-old's debut, though, has been held up by postponements over the winter period and the back row not being registered for European competition.
However, Cracknell is now set to be unleashed on neighbours Gloucester and Director of Rugby Ruddock, who loaned out the back row to Birmingham & Solihull in recent weeks to give him game time, is keen to see him impress in a Warriors shirt.
"We are looking at starting Chris Cracknell this weekend," revealed Ruddock.
"The Saxons call up has come for Tom Wood so there is a chance he could be taken off us anyway, but my thinking was always to try and start Chris down at Gloucester so we can see him in this competition.
"He wasn't registered for Europe so we need to see him before the Guinness Premiership returns to see what he can or can't do for us.
"Chris has settled in well, he is a nice lad and we have managed to get him a few games with Bees on loan so he has some game time under his belt. That means we can look at him on the back of some match practice which is ideal for us.
"He has a good reputation, has looked a really good athlete in training and a composed rugby player with good skills.
"It would be nice if he gave us a bit of s election headache going into the second half of the season and put his hand up to make us look at him as a possible candidate to stay with the squad for a longer period
"But I don't want to put too much pressure on him, I just hope he goes out and enjoys it and plays to his potential."
Warriors travel to Gloucester knowing a victory is crucial to try and keep alive the chance of making the semi-finals, with a home clash against London Irish to follow next weekend.
And Ruddock admits a number of his senior stars are set to return to action in the derby cup clash.
"We would like to do well in this competition - we have won one and lost one. If we are going to have any chance of progressing we need to win our next two games," he said.
"We will pick a strong panel, although what is now becoming evident is that the success we have had in bringing some players through to international level means we will be without a number of them for Saturday.
"It looks like Matt Mullan will be kept the whole week with England out in Portugal so really he won't be an option for us after a week like that and travelling.
"Alex Grove is up in Scotland, so we won't know what is happening with him until the end of the week, and Miles Benjamin and Tom Wood are with England Saxons and so could be involved with them or retuned back to us.
"What you will see is a lot of senior guys returning after a couple of weeks rested. People like Pat Sanderson, Kai Horstmann, Willie Walker, Dale Rasmussen, Sam Tuitupou and Chris Latham will be back.
"We are also hoping that Tevita Taumoepeau will be back in contention, after being out with chest cold in recent weeks, Aleki Lutui will probably start and Greg Rawlinson will come in after a small operation on his wrist."