England flanker Pat Sanderson has been backed to produce "some really big performances" when Worcester continue their fight for Guinness Premiership survival during the holiday period.
The Warriors skipper, who started all four of England’s autumn Tests, is set to continue on a domestic beat against Sixways visitors Harlequins.
And Worcester need his presence more than ever following a 16-14 home defeat against London Irish last weekend that left them seven points adrift of Newcastle, having played one game more.
Sanderson is the heartbeat of a Worcester side desperate for Premiership points, but five successive home league defeats hardly augurs well for their appointment with Quins.
And he will need to pick himself up from the November series that saw England beaten by Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand.
Worcester rugby director John Brain said: "To be in a losing camp, it does affect you mentally and physically.
"He (Sanderson) went from here to the England camp, where everything and everybody was under intense scrutiny. It was a pretty claustrophobic environment to be in for a player.
"But it is good for him to be back here. I think he is looking forward to putting in some really big performances."