British & Irish Cup: Worcester ready to 'step up' against Leinster

Carl Hogg (right)
Carl Hogg (right) became Warriors head coach in May 2013 after leaving Gloucester

Worcester Warriors head coach Carl Hogg says his players are ready to learn the lessons of their A League final defeat when they face Leinster A in the semi-final of the British and Irish Cup.

Warriors, who have won all their games in the tournament, meet the defending champions at Sixways on Friday.

"They were very disappointed to come up short against Saracens in the A League final," Hogg said.

"It's all about learning lessons. This year's about a development curve."

Warriors have used both the A league and B&I Cup competitions to give their squad players the chance to play regular first-team rugby.

Warriors' perfect B&I Cup run 2014-15
Pool Matches:
v Nottingham (A): Won 26-19v Moseley (H): Won 31-12
v Munster A (H): Won 27-23v Munster A (A): Won 23-18
v Moseley (A): Won 39-0v Nottingham (H): Won 43-22
v Pontypridd: Won 24-10

Those players have taken the chance to shine, with the A league side going down 27-19 to Saracens Storm in the final in January.

Championship leaders Warriors, along with Bristol and Doncaster, finished the group stage of the B&I Cup with a perfect record of six wins out of six.

They came through their quarter-final against Pontypridd 24-10 to book their place in the last four.

"We've done very well in this competition with a young group of players," Hogg told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

"They've been exposed to a level of rugby that's challenged them."

Leinster A have won the B&I Cup for the last two years and have not lost to an English side in the competition since Bedford beat them in March 2011.

But Hogg believes his players face their toughest challenge yet, as the club looks to extend their 23-match winning run.

"It'll be a significant step up. They're a very good side, play with lots of pace and ambition, and we'll need to be at our best," he said.

"It'll be different from other games, where we went into them knowing we probably had the upper hand."

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