WARRIORS will unleash their Lions on Exeter Chiefs in Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match at Sandy Park (kick-off 3pm).
Wing Duhan van der Merwe and loosehead prop Rory Sutherland both linked up with Warriors last month having been given a well-earned break after the British and Irish Lions summer tour of South Africa.
The Scotland international pair have both been recruited from Edinburgh Rugby and, having settled in at Sixways, they will both start against last season’s beaten finalists among seven changes to the starting XV.
Van der Merwe comes into the back division in place of Melani Nanai, who suffered a hamstring injury against Gloucester last Saturday.
Sutherland takes his place in the front row alongside two more of Warriors’ summer signings, Scott Baldwin and Christian Judge, with Ethan Waller moving to the bench.
Warriors have also re-jigged the back-row as Club Captain Ted Hill begins a three-match suspension following a red card for a tip tackle against Gloucester.
Kyle Hatherell, who scored his first try for the club as a replacement lock against Gloucester, starts in Hill’s usual position on the blindside flank with Matt Kvesic moving from number eight to the openside.
Tonga international Sione Vailanu, who marked his first competitive appearance for Warriors with a late try against Gloucester, will make his first start since his summer move from Wasps at number eight.
Lock Andrew Kitchener will make his first appearance of the season having recovered from injury with Billy Searle named at fly-half for his first start of the campaign in place of Owen Williams who tore a hamstring attempting to kick a penalty against Gloucester.
Oli Morris comes into the three-quarters for his first start of the season in a new centre pairing with England international Ollie Lawrence.
Tighthead prop Jay Tyack, lock Joe Batley, centre Will Butler and wing Harri Doel are all in line to make their seasonal debuts off the bench.
Wales international hooker Baldwin will be co-captain along with scrum-half Willi Heinz in Hill’s absence.
Warriors | 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Noah Heward, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Ollie Lawrence, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Willi Heinz (CC), 1 Rory Sutherland, 2 Scott Baldwin (CC), 3 Christian Judge, 4 Andrew Kitchener, 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Kyle Hatherell, 7 Matt Kvesic, 8 Sione Vailanu.
Replacements | 16 Niall Annett, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Jay Tyack, 19 Joe Batley, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Will Butler, 23 Harri Doel.