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Byline: Geoff Berkeley

BUOYA UOY NT head coach Carl Hogg is confident Worcester Warriors' rising stars will put on a show in the British & Irish Cup.

Teenagers T Andrew Boyce, Huw Taylor and and Tiff Eden will be among Warriors' talented batch of academy players to start against Nottingham today.

Their selection follows impressive performances for Worcester Cavaliers - the club's second string who have won their last four games in the A League. And Hogg said it was vital to use the competition as a platform to launch young players' careers, with many, including skipper Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier, making their first team debuts.

"The B&I Cup will give us an opportunity to see the next Chris Pennell, Jonathan Thomas and GJ Van Velze," Hogg said.

"Everyone has to start from somewhere and I think the B&I Cup is a great vehicle for young players to start their journey.

"We will use some of the Cavaliers players who have been playing so well on Monday nights, but also use this as an opportunity to look at some of our younger players."

However, with so many of Warriors' first team regulars expected to be rested for the competition and with other teams likely to focus their attention on the league, it does beg the question whether people will bother turning up for the next three weeks of cup fixtures.

But Hogg insisted the offensive style of rugby will be enough to entice fans through the gates and keep bums on seats.

"The brand of rugby will be dif-dif ferent from what we have seen in the Championship or the Premiership as it tends to be a more free-flowing contest," he said.

"If you watch some of the Cavaliers games on Monday nights, they have been outstanding - not just in terms of quality, but also in terms of intensity.

"So it is just a different spectacle as it will allow us the opportunity to go out and play with a little bit more freedom and expression."

Since losing to Bristol on the opening day of their Greene King IPA IP Championship campaign, WARA Championship campaign, WAR- riors have won four games on the bounce, including a 47-7 thrashing of last season's play-off semi-finalists Rotherham Titans at Clifton Lane last week.

Hogg believed their run of results, which has lifted them up to second in the league, has been largely down to the impact of the Warriors youngsters with full-back Ben Howard, centre Max Stelling and prop Val Rapava Ruskin all coming to the fore in recent weeks.

The head coach said the club has also reaped the rewards from fielding an inexperienced Worcester Cavaliers side each week as it has provided a springboard for the likes of Eden, Perry Humphreys and Darren O'Shea to propel themselves into the first team.

"The A League has been a great platform for young guys to stick their hands up," he said. "You have seen from the way we have selected in the Championship that people who have proved themselves on Monday nights have had opportunities on the weekend.

"Now is a natural point in the season - after five Championship games and four A League games - to reflect and I think we are in a very healthy state and there is a really good vibe around the club at the moment.

"We had a number of senior players out for the Rotherham game, yet young players came in and they performed very well, which is exactly what we want to see.

"We have to grow over the nine months in the Championship, so it is key that we give young players the opportunity to start their development."


Worcester's Tiff Eden. Right, coach Carl Hogg |
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 12, 2014
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