Worcester's director of rugby Dean Ryan shows his Warrior spirit as Freddie Burns is confined to the bench


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The Independent Online

Worcester's director of rugby, Dean Ryan, makes his first return as a coach to Kingsholm today saying Gloucester are in their worst run of form for 15 years.

Ryan was a coach at Gloucester from 2002-09 but although it was a successful period, the club lost Premiership finals in 2003, 2007 and 2008.

Gloucester now languish in 10th place, and even though the Warriors are bottom having lost every game, Ryan did not spare his old club. "I've never known Gloucester to be in this kind of position for 15 years," he said. "I don't understand why they are towards the bottom as they have a gifted backline."

Gloucester's England fly-half Freddie Burns will start on the bench today. He has been heavily linked with a move to Leicester Tigers and would be an ideal replacement for Toby Flood, who seems certain to leave Welford Road for Toulouse next season.

Centre Billy Twelvetrees takes Burns' place at No 10, with Mike Tindall at 12 alongside Henry Trinder at outside centre. New prop Sila Puafisi makes his full debut.

Flanker Akapusi Qera is expected to join Toulouse in January, and Ryan could not resist a further dig at the derby rivals: "There are a lot of rumours linking a number of people with other places and I don't know whether that is unsettling them."