DEAN Ryan is set to hand Worcester Warriors competitive debuts to five summer signings for tomorrow's Aviva Premiership opener with Northampton Saints at Sixways (7.45pm).

Donncha O'Callaghan, Phil Dowson, Wynand Olivier, Tom Heathcote and Darren Barry are all set to make their Sixways bows.

Marco Mama and Na'ama Leleimalefaga could also grab their first appearances for the Club from the bench.

A new-look second-row sees Ireland legend O'Callaghan link-up with former Cornish Pirate Barry, while Dowson is set to take on his former club in the back-row alongside skipper Gerrit-Jan van Velze and Sam Lewis.

Scotland international Heathcote will start at fly-half with Ryan Mills at 12 and South African Olivier at outside-centre.

Chris Pennell, Cooper Vuna and Tom Biggs occupy the back three slots with the current squad's record appearance-maker Jonny Arr at scrum-half.

Val Rapava Ruskin, Niall Annett and Nick Schonert make up the front-row as Warriors battle last season's table-toppers.

There is also a place foraAcademy youngster Perry Humphreys on the bench who could win his first Premiership cap.

Ryan said: "This is our opportunity to play here and represent the club in the top flight of rugby.

"Once you get that and remember the challenges of last year, you get the excitement and we are genuinely excited about seeing Northampton here. This is exactly where we want to be.

"O'Callaghan and Olivier are here to add substance to the middle of the business while Mills, Rapava Ruskin and Charlie Mulchrone are all coming to the table wanting their opportunity but need some experience around that.

"This is a more strategic approach to see if we can get those people to up-skill themselves at this level because without it you can't survive in the Premiership."

Meanwhile, three players will make their full debuts for Northampton Saints.

The trio are all among the forwards - Kieran Brookes, Michael Paterson and Jamie Gibson – with replacements Paul Hill and JJ Hanrahan also in line for first Saints appearances should they feature at Sixways.

Lee Dickson starts his first competitive game as Saints' club captain from scrum-half.


15 Chris Pennell

14 Cooper Vuna

13 Wynand Olivier

12 Ryan Mills

11 Tom Biggs

10 Tom Heathcote

9 Jonny Arr

1 Val Rapava Ruskin

2 Niall Annett

3 Nick Schonert

4 Donncha O'Callaghan

5 Darren Barry

6 Phil Dowson

7 Sam Lewis

8 Gerrit-Jan van Velze (C)


16 Dan George

17 Na'ama Leleimalefaga

18 Joe Rees

19 Darren O'Shea

20 Marco Mama

21 Charlie Mulchrone

22 Alex Grove

23 Perry Humphreys


Northampton Saints

15 Ben Foden
14 Ken Pisi
13 Tom Stephenson
12 Luther Burrell
11 Jamie Elliott
10 Stephen Myler
9 Lee Dickson (capt)
1 Alex Waller
2 Dylan Hartley
3 Kieran Brookes
4 Michael Paterson
5 Christian Day
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Jon Fisher
8 Sam Dickinson



16 Mike Haywood
17 Ethan Waller
18 Paul Hill
19 Teimana Harrison
20 Ben Nutley
21 Kahn Fotuali’i
22 JJ Hanrahan
23 George Pisi