CHRIS Pennell is backing the support cast at Worcester Warriors to show Premiership class on the continent.

Warriors kick off their European Challenge Cup campaign with a trip to Stade Francais tomorrow night (8pm) before Ospreys head to Sixways next week.

The competition typically signals a chance to shine for those without regular Gallagher Premiership starts with Pennell confident over the squad’s depth.

“When we have everybody fit you can certainly put out two sides that look very good on paper and that would be competitive should you play against each other,” he said.

“I don’t remember a time before now where you get a minimum of 30 boys where you can say ‘they will more than do a job at the Premiership level’.

“It is a really good place to be, we just need to back that up now with results.

“The boys will step up. We want to compete in all competitions and have high aspirations.

“We are able to put out some quality boys to play in these competitions to drive competition for places further and they are now getting their shot on a bigger stage so it is exciting.”

Many of those stepping up from Worcester Cavaliers will do so with confidence having won three in a row in Premiership Shields’ Northern Conference.

“That has to drive us as a squad,” said Pennell.

“It is a very strange dynamic to have someone performing well on a Monday night, putting pressure on you in training to make you better on a weekend.

“Ultimately these guys want your starting spot but then they are also there to help you.

“It is a unique position to be in but those guys who are champing at the bit to get their opportunity without doubt put pressure on the first-team in a really positive way.

“We have to make sure that we raise our standards.”

In the meantime, the 31-year-old Worcester-born full-back is looking forward to recharging his batteries while focus switches away from the rigours of league action.

“Any chance to let the body recover is good but we are very well looked after here as it is,” added Pennell.

“We are very lucky to have all the facilities and staff to look after us incredibly well but sometimes that mental break is important too.

“But then if you look at where we want to get to, which is the top six and into the top European competition, it will be these moments where we then need to refocus and kick on.

“I think there will be a few guys that do get breaks but we are aware of the fact that we have to come back from that absolutely ready to fire and raise our standards even more.”