Worcester v Leicester: Tigers will not underestimate Warriors
Leicester youngster Owen Williams has warned his team-mates not to under-estimate Premiership bottom club Worcester at Sixways on Friday.
Williams was part of a second-string Tigers side who won narrowly 21-18 in the LV= Cup at Sixways in November, kicking 11 of his side's points.
Leicester are weakened by injuries and international calls again on Friday.
"We know Worcester are going to fight for everything and we have to be switched on," said Williams.
Already without injured star trio Geoff Parling, Manu Tuilagi and Tom Croft, champions Leicester have only two players, hooker Tom Youngs and prop Dan Cole, on England duty against Scotland at Murrayfield this weekend.
As well as Tuilagi (chest muscle), Parling (dual shoulder operation) and Croft (knee reconstruction), Tigers are also without former Warriors winger Miles Benjamin (out for four to six weeks with a knee injury), stand-off Dan Bowden and full-back Niall Morris (thumb).
They will also lose a young trio to England Under-20s duty, winger Henry Purdy and flanker Will Owen, while prop Harry Rudkin is on the bench.
But England have released scrum-half Ben Youngs and lock forward Ed Slater for club duty, along with Under-20s hooker Harry Thacker.
And, with former England stand-off Toby Flood now focused solely on Leicester, following news of his impending move to France, it will still be a strong Tigers side.
"It's a big period for us while the England boys are away, but we are not looking too far ahead," insists 21-year-old former Scarlets stand-off Williams, Flood's deputy.
"Worcester are going to come out all guns blazing.
"They need to win games. We know it's not an easy place to go."
Worcester, renowned for their home record in recent seasons, have now managed just one win at Sixways in 11 months.
That was in the Challenge Cup against Oyonnax last month - and they have not won in the Premiership on home soil since beating Wasps on 1 March last year.
Dean Ryan's side have managed just three points from their 12 games so far this season.
And, at a time when they are already planning the reconstruction of their squad for what is expected to be Championship rugby next season, it would be a surprise if Worcester, beaten 32-15 at Welford Road in September, ended their losing run on Friday.