Wentzel, who has started all five Guinness Premiership matches in the second row since his pre-season switch from Benetton Treviso, takes hold of the No.6 shirt for the clash with the Warriors. After experiencing two defeats on the bounce with his new club, the 28-year-old believes this weekend’s match-up takes on added importance.
“Obviously, we had a great start with three wins but suddenly you lose two and you’re back where you started,” says Wentzel. “I think this weekend is really important for both individuals and the team to play well. Any team in this league can beat anyone on any given day so we’re not going to take things lightly. We’re coming off the back of two losses and we need to win.
“It was a close game against Saracens and we lost it. It is disappointing and losing two in a row obviously makes it harder. It was especially hard losing at home (against Gloucester) but we’ve got this weekend to get things back on track. There are lots of things we need to work on, including keeping our own ball, so we’ll be trying to rectify those mistakes.
Once Wentzel has hopefully played his part in a fourth Tigers win of the season, the former Blue Bulls and Cats forward will turn his attentions to the World Cup showdown in Paris. Having also played Currie Cup rugby with Boland Cavaliers, Wentzel has two Springbok caps to his name and is looking for a South African triumph, although he is expecting a tough challenge from the English.
“It’s a one-off game and anyone can win that game. The England team have shown some real character and that lifts the whole country. It’s going to be a big game the Boks against England and I hope the Boks will take it through.”
Tickets for the game against Worcester (kick-off 3pm) are available from the Tigers ticket office or by calling 08701 28 34 30.
Welford Road will then stay open for supporters to watch the World Cup Final and cheer on the England squad which includes five Tigers players. Televisions throughout the ground will be tuned in to the live coverage, as well as big screens in the ABC and Tiger Bars.