DEAN Ryan says Warriors’ tough pre-season campaign has given him the perfect insight into his players ahead of the Greene King IPA Championship opener on Sunday.

Warriors tasted success against Ospreys 23-6 before going down to Sale Sharks 22-16 and Exeter Chiefs 26-6.

According to the Warriors director of rugby, his side will be ready when the season finally gets under way against Bristol at Ashton Gate (2.40pm).

Ryan said: “We won’t get tested like we did against Exeter much this season so, for our learning, this is exactly what I wanted.

“I wanted pre-season to put us under the microscope, show us where the standards are and to get this young group towards those.

“We know where we are and I’ve been delighted with the people I wanted to come in and take their chances.

“Physically, I thought we were very strong again. We’ve got lots to work on and we’ll reference that game across the year because we won’t meet opposition like that often over the next six months.”

Warriors face an action-packed opening month of the campaign with trips to Bristol and Doncaster among Sixways clashes with Moseley and Nottingham.

Ryan added: “This season is about a stepping stone back into the Premiership and then being successful there.”