WORCESTER Warriors players returned to pre-season training this week as preparations for the 2014-15 campaign get under way.

A host of new faces arrived at Sixways for the first time as the club go in search of an instant return to the Aviva Premiership under director of rugby Dean Ryan.

With just over two months to go before the first pre-season fixture against Ospreys at Sixways, players are being put through their paces by Warriors’ backroom staff.

Ryan said: “We have a squad of committed players who all have aspirations to ensure we have a successful season.

“The players understand our expectations going forward and they are excited about being part of something here.

“The next few weeks provide us with an opportunity to assess the squad and develop players to ensure we have prepared effectively when the season starts.”

Warriors players will spend their first week undergoing strength testing and medical check-ups to evaluate their fitness levels after the summer break.

They will then fly to Portugal later this month for a 10-day training camp, where intensity levels will rise further.

Ryan continued: “This pre-season campaign will be tough for players but the benefits will be evident throughout the season.

“Players will be working hard and creating a strong team ethos in a positive environment. That will only be advantageous in the long-term.”