HEAD coach Rory Duncan believes bruising back rower Alafoti Fa’osiliva will help Worcester Warriors fight “fire with fire” against a powerful Pau side in France tonight (7pm GMT).

Fa’osiliva, 33, will make his first start since the opening match of the season in the European Challenge Cup Pool Two clash.

The Samoa international has been struggling with a calf injury and suffered a setback when he made a substitute appearance at Saracens in the Premiership Cup last month.

But Duncan said Fa’osiliva was now back to full fitness and would be a welcome addition to Warriors’ pack as they look to make it three wins from three in the European competition.

“We are quite excited to have a guy like Foti available to us,” Duncan said.

“He is a big ball-carrier, makes big hits in defence and his strong point is bringing that physicality to the game.

“It will be nice to be able to match fire with fire.”

Pau sit in 11th position in the Top 14 with four wins and seven losses to their name.

“From what we have seen Pau are pretty direct and physical,” Duncan said.

“They have got a massive forward pack and big, strong runners in the backs that run pretty direct lines. When they get a bit of momentum they also like to play a bit of an offloading game so we have are going to have to front up physically this weekend.”

Warriors’ pack struggled in their 36-16 defeat at Gloucester last weekend with boss Alan Solomons admitting his side were “outmuscled”.

But Duncan felt his forwards had made progress and had improved at the set-piece since their lineout “nightmare” at Bath last month.

“If you look at the first half of the Gloucester game we got quite a bit of momentum out of our mauls,” Duncan said.

“We also scored a mauling try against Harlequins where we ran them back about 15 metres.

“There has been progression but I still believe there is a way to go before we reach our full potential.”

On Warriors’ lineout work, Duncan said: “It is certainly better since the Bath game.

“But I still don’t think we are hitting our straps yet.

“Hopefully these two European games will be a great building block for us to be able to hit the ground running in the Premiership. We have spoken about being more clinical with ball in hand but the set piece is obviously vital for us.

“We want to make sure that we are getting a 90 per cent success rate with our lineout execution when we do have possession.”