PROP Kai Owen reiterated his “big ambition” of making his Gallagher Premiership bow this season after scrummaging against a New Zealand legend.

Owen locked horns with veteran tighthead prop Owen Franks in an “unreal” scrum battle during Worcester Cavaliers’ clash with Northampton Wanderers at Sixways on Monday night.

While Owen, 20, is in the infancy of his career, Franks, 32, has racked up 108 caps for the All Blacks and won two World Cups.

His older brother, Ben Franks, 35, who has been capped 47 times by New Zealand, was also selected in a vastly experienced front row.

But Owen along with Fiji prop Ropate Rinakama and USA hooker Joe Taufete’e held firm as Cavaliers claimed a 34-28 victory over Wanderers in the Premiership Shield.

“It was a great opportunity to show myself to the coaches and the fans as well,” Owen said.

“It was a good experience to come up against another experienced tighthead prop and show what I can do.

“It was physical to say the least, but I thought the front row managed it well.

“The A League is a funny one as you come up against experienced guys as well as new boys coming through from the under 18s.

“The experience and opportunity to come up against somebody with that many All Black caps was unreal.

“I was slightly nervous due to the reputation that he has got but the boys talked to me beforehand and told me to just approach it the same way, no different to anyone else.”

Owen made his Warriors debut in the victory over Stade Francais in Paris last season.

The England U20s international has played three times this term, two in the European Challenge Cup and one in the Premiership Cup.

And Owen is determined to break into Alan Solomons’ first-team plans before the end of the campaign.

“I have got to be persistent and keep knocking on the door,” Owen said.

“The door is open, so it is about taking the opportunity when it comes.

“You are only as good as your last game, so you have got to keep pushing the first-team boys.

“The feedback (from the coaches) has been amazing but you just have to keep working hard and earn your stripes in each game.

“At the moment the European games are very key as that’s my chance to showcase myself in the first-team environment.

“There are a lot more fans and pressure, but I really enjoy it.

“The goal this season is to play in the Premiership and push on to help us grow as a club.

“It’s a big ambition but I am setting high targets.

“All the boys have got really good targets to hit this season but we are getting there and growing as a team.”

Kicking off in dense fog, Cavaliers came flying out of the blocks with a try from Jono Kitto after a break from Scott van Breda on two minutes.

Further scores from Taufete’e, Beck Cutting and Nick David sealed the bonus point and gave the hosts a 28-14 lead at half-time.

Two converted tries saw Wanderers draw level but a couple of penalties from Luke Scully in the final 10 minutes secured a fourth successive bonus point victory for Cavaliers.

“You have got to give credit to Northampton as they pushed us like Gloucester did last week, but we stayed composed and fought for 80 minutes,” Owen added.

“We focused on speed, tempo and physicality and that showed.”