Mike Ruddock insists his squad will not revisit the humiliation heaped upon it by the Ospreys last season as he prepares his side to face the star-studded Welsh province once more.
The Worcester director of rugby takes his team to Liberty Stadium on Sunday for what could be the decisive game his Warriors’ EDF Energy Cup campaign a day before the year anniversary of the most embarrassing result of his reign.
Ruddock was just seven matches into his tenure at Sixways when Ospreys brought a side featuring 13 internationals across the border and hammered their hosts 47-16 on live terrestrial television.
Worcester conceded seven tries and turned in a display so poor the pundits on the day described Ruddock’s men as ‘clueless’ and accused them of ‘not knowing what they are doing’.
Much has changed since then. Worcester ended last term as one of the most attractive teams in the Premiership and although they have started their league programme slowly this year – largely due to injuries, they have got into their stride in this competition and the European Challenge Cup.
For those reasons Ruddock believes too much has changed to draw any meaningful comparisons.
“I have destroyed that video,” the Welshman quipped. “It’s never to be seen again, we won’t be using any negative psychology to show the players them giving us a hammering.
“This is a very different team. We have really developed our shape a year on. We are playing a very different way and playing with a lot of quality at the moment. In our last match against Bucuresti we played some excellent rugby.”
Sunday’s win in Romania was Warriors’ third in succession following one at Petrarca Padova and one in the first match of EDF at home to London Irish.
Ospreys meanwhile have won one and lost one of their Heineken Cup matches in the last fortnight and have failed to score a try in doing so and were only narrow winners over Harlequins in their Group C opener.
Worcester, however, will not be helped by the fact they will be without wing Miles Benjamin who injured his shoulder against Petrarca.
There is also a doubt over Matthew Jones who has an ankle injury.