Rugby Union
We've proved the doubters wrong - Clarke

By Geoff Berkeley Friday 21 December 2012 Updated: 21/12 15:51

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Buy photos » Jon Clarke. Picture by Marcus Mingins.

CENTRE Jon Clarke has played down the importance of Worcester Warriors' clash with London Welsh and insists a win at Sixways tonight (Friday, 8pm) will be treated as just another step in the right direction.

Since the Aviva Premiership fixtures were published in July, the 29-year-old said many people would have pin-pointed Warriors' match against newly-promoted Welsh as the tie to decide which side finishes bottom of the pile at Christmas.

But with both teams sitting comfortably clear of the relegation spot, Clarke, who signed from Northampton Saints in the summer, is delighted to have proved the doubters wrong.

"I think we are in a better position than people thought," he said.

"There was a lot of chat beforehand about it being just Worcester and London Welsh battling it out at the bottom, but they are doing well and so are we. It is not the be-all and end-all, we just need to get the win and keep the momentum going."

He added: "The next couple of weeks are pretty massive, but a victory here will be treated as just another building block for us as we have high expectations. That's our mentality, as we want to be winning every game."

Clarke will start on the bench as head coach Richard Hill makes four changes to the team which lost 13-6 away to USA Perpignan last week.

Josh Matavesi takes his place at inside centre, while Chris Pennell, David Lemi and James Percival all return to the starting line-up.

And Clarke expects a tough challenge against the Londoners, but is confident Warriors have enough about them to clinch victory.

"Welsh are going to be a hard team to break down," Clarke said.

"Their main threat is their pack of forwards and their scrum and line-out, so if ours doesn't function they will pounce on it and the likes of Gavin Henson will get more of the ball."

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