Worcester Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons acknowledges the English club now have a tough task to qualify for the last eight of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. 

Worcester are third in Pool 1 on 10 points – five behind leaders Dragons and three adrift of Castres Olympique – leaving the South African to believe they will need to take five points from both their remaining pool matches to reach the quarter-finals. 

First, they entertain Enisei-STM on Saturday, but they do so after being overwhelmed 62-5 at European champions Saracens in the Gallagher Premiership last weekend, when they also lost lock Michael Fatialofa to a neck injury.

To add to their problems, Worcester will also be without props Conor Carey and Callum Black, back-row forwards Sam Lewis and Cornell du Preez, fly-half Duncan Weir and wing/full-back Perry Humphreys due to injury at the weekend. 

However, Solomons expects Du Preez and Humphreys to be fit in time to face Castres at Sixways Stadium on January 17 in what could be a make-or-break tie. 

“Some of the lads will play again, but there will be changes and opportunities will be given to some of our younger players,” the Worcester boss said. 

“In order to give ourselves a chance of reaching the quarter-finals, we are going to need a bonus point win in each of our two remaining pool matches. 

“The focus really has to be on our game and making sure that we get our performance right.”