Mike Ruddock insists the sparks will fly at Sixways this season as he attempts to transform Worcester from Guinness Premiership battlers to Heineken Cup qualifiers.

Ruddock took the reigns in May after John Brain was relieved of his position within 48 hours of orchestrating a dramatic and successful fight against relegation.

Worcester had boasted a formidable pack of forwards but struggled last season because they offered very little behind the scrum.

Ruddock’s vision is wholly different. His Wales side won the 2005 Grand Slam with a breathless, adventurous style of attacking rugby.

And the challenge set by Worcester’s chairman Cecil Duckworth is to bring that same approach, and same success, to Sixways.

"As we are planning to take the capacity up to 15,000 or 16,000, we have to fill the stadium and that means we have to play better and we must also get into the Heineken Cup," said Duckworth.

And after the arrival of significant names like New Zealand centre Sam Tuitupou and Samoan fly-half Loki Crichton came Ruddock’s major coup - Rico Gear.

Here is a player who can really make the sparks fly. Gear scored a hat-trick against Ruddock’s Wales in November 2005 and arrives at the World Cup with a record of 11 tries from 16 Test starts.

Ruddock said: "We wanted to make a statement about our ambition as a club and about the future of Worcester Warriors that we believe will be a very positive one.

"We also want to try to play an exciting brand of rugby that encourages players to express themselves and creates interest amongst our supporters.

"I believe in the signing of Rico we’ve certainly achieved both those factors and we’re hoping that such a quality player will act as a catalyst for a progressive brand of rugby.

"Rico is one of the best finishers in the game and he has got the pace to finish off the many chances that we are looking to create for him."

Ruddock has also bolstered the Warriors pack with the signings of Fijian flanker Netani Talei and New Zealand lock Greg Rawlinson, while persuading captain Pat Sanderson to sign a new two-year contract.

Ruddock’s influence in that should not be underestimated.

Sanderson and Brain were close allies but the former England captain said: "The arrival of Mike Ruddock has sparked a real buzz about the future of the club, and the signings we have made during the summer show the club is going forward and determined to compete in the top half of the Premiership."

But is that their only goal for this campaign, or should Worcester sights be set higher?

"Anything is possible, which is something I found out when I was coach at Swansea," said Ruddock. "They finished eighth in the first season of Welsh league rugby, so we targeted a top-four finish the following year and went on to win the title.

"When I went with Wales, we thought we would try to win our home games and compete elsewhere, and we ended up winning a Grand Slam."

Ruddock spent the 16 months between professional rugby jobs working for a recruitment consultancy in Swansea and coaching his local team Mumbles to the Welsh Division Three South-West title.

He has joined forces again with Clive Griffiths, his right-hand man with Wales who had taken over as head coach of Doncaster after being ousted from the Millennium Stadium.

Ruddock is not willing to rake over the coals of that turbulent period and, having coached with Swansea, Munster and Wales, prefers to look forward to his debut season in the Premiership.

"It is a real test for any coach, and it is going to be a big test for me," said Ruddock. "I enjoyed my time with Wales. There were ups and downs, as there are with every rugby situation. I am proud of my record there.

"I certainly believe in myself, and I believe any situation in rugby - good or bad - the older you get, the more you learn from them."