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Page last updated at 12:36 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 13:36 UK

Fly-half Crook stakes his claim

George Crook
George Crook got his first start for the Warriors in Madrid

Worcester director of rugby Mike Ruddock was impressed with fly-half George Crook's debut against Olympus Madrid in the European Challenge Cup.

Warriors have been struggling to find a replacement at number 10 since the departure of Shane Drahm.

"He was picked on merit ahead of Joe Carlisle and he earned that spot," Ruddock told BBC Hereford & Worcester.

"He missed one or two early kicks, but after that he settled down and ran the back line showing a lot of composure."

Utility back Willie Walker has been filling in regularly at fly-half but Ruddock decided to give the 21-year-old academy product his chance in Spain.

Warriors' 38-5 win in Madrid has put them back in contention in their group as Connacht won in Montpellier.

He looked assured and confident and when he went off we lost that bit of continuity

Mike Ruddock

Crook kicked five conversions and a penalty and Ruddock could name him on the replacements bench for the Guinness Premiership clash with Harlequins on Saturday.

The Warriors director of rugby has not been afraid to blood youngsters and he says Crook could be next to stake a place in the side.

"He looked assured and confident and when he went off we lost that bit of continuity," he said.

Crook is in his third season at Sixways and has tasted Premiership action before when coming on as a replacement to score a try against London Irish in April 2009.

He had a spell on loan with Coventry in the Championship and was watched by Ruddock on a number of occasions.



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