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Warriors book friendlies with Ospreys and Exeter

Evesham Journal: (4790845) (4790845)

WARRIORS have announced home pre-season friendlies with Ospreys and Exeter Chiefs as part of the club’s preparations for the 2014/15 season.

The Welsh region, who will include Worcester favourite Josh Matavesi among their ranks after he opted to switch Sixways for Swansea, will visit the home of the Warriors on Friday, August 15 (7.30pm).

The match against the star-studded Rabo Direct Pro 14 region will give Worcester supporters their first glimpse of director of rugby Dean Ryan’s new-look side.

Recently-crowned LV= Cup champions Exeter will then visit Sixways on Saturday, August 30 (3pm) ahead of the new season, which will begin in September.

Warriors will be looking to begin their league season on the back of a victory against Rob Baxter’s men, who have proved a stern test on every trip to Worcester.

Since taking the helm last summer, Ryan has been eager to stamp his mark on the Sixways club, which is set to see as many as 20 players shipped out.

The former Gloucester chief has been busy in the transfer market too, wasting little time in bringing in the likes of Jonathan Thomas, Ryan Lamb, Jerome Schuster and Mariano Galarza.

Ryan has also bulked up the Warriors academy as he bids to rebuild the lifeblood of the club and several of the young prospects he has recruited, such as Dean Hammond and Andy Symons, have already staked their claim for first-team action.

Ryan marked his Warriors arrival with a pre-season trip to Ospreys prior to the current campaign and it was – quite literally – a baptism of fire.

The game was nearly abandoned as the Warriors squad were left stranded on the motorway after their coach burst into flames en route to the Liberty Stadium.

However, they eventually arrived, the match went ahead and the Welsh outfit snatched victory with a last-minute victory courtesy Ross Jones try.

Worcester will also play another yet-to-be-named club as part of their pre-season preparations.

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