WORCESTER Warriors will field a “strong side” for their European Challenge Cup opener against Brive at Sixways on Saturday (3pm).

And head coach Carl Hogg has urged his players to release the shackles in a bid to come back into the Aviva Premiership “firing”.

Warriors’ confidence has been hit following six successive league defeats, including last Saturday’s 29-13 loss at 14-man Bath.

But Hogg believes the two-week period of European fixtures will help to breathe new life into the top flight’s bottom club.

“I think coming out of the Premiership and going into a different competition with a different focus will be good for us,” Hogg said.

“Six weeks in the Premiership is hard.

"I cannot halt the effort and endeavour.

“But we are going to freshen things up over the next couple of weeks, change some personnel around and get ourselves back firing.”

Although considering mixing his team up, Hogg looks likely to pick many of his first team stars against Brive and for their trip to Connacht the following Saturday.

Warriors have failed to make it out of the group stages since 2009 when they reached the semi-finals, losing to Bourgoin.

“We will look to put a strong side out in Europe,” Hogg said.

“We have got Brive on Saturday and they will have a big forward pack, so we will look to play with some pace and tempo.

“It gives us an opportunity to get away from the pressures of the Premiership and go out and play with a little bit of freedom.

“But it is key that we stick to the foundation of our game and we have the same effort and endeavour.”