Alex Grove wants Worcester to improve on last year's semi-final defeat
Worcester Warriors centre Alex Grove says his club are determined to be crowned Amlin Challenge Cup winners at the end of this season.
Worcester begin their new European campaign at home to Montpellier on Thursday evening as they look to improve on last season's semi-final showing.
And, in addition to the pain of their loss to Bourgoin in the last four five months ago, Grove says the memory of defeat to Bath in the 2008 final will also make the Warriors hungrier for success.
"We'll go out to win the Amlin Challenge Cup, especially having got to the final a couple of years ago," said Grove, who has been a regular starter for Mike Ruddock's men so far this season.
"We got to the semis last year but we had a couple of injuries and we were almost down to the bare bones. We want to go one better than 2008 this time around."
Grove was one of 16 current or former academy players who featured in the Worcester first team last season and, although the Warriors struggled domestically, their Challenge Cup run helped him establish himself as an integral part of the Sixways set up.
The 21-year-old played in seven of the club's eight Challenge Cup fixtures as he earned himself a new two-year contract with his first professional club.
Since then Grove has starred for Scotland A in the victorious IRB Nations Cup campaign over the summer and has also been named in the senior Scotland training squad ahead of the November internationals.
It's been a remarkable rise for the affable Solihull-born Scotsman and he admits that qualifying for next season's Heineken Cup, whether that be through the Amlin Challenge Cup or the Guinness Premiership, would be another huge step forward.
"Worcester have been in the Premiership for a few years now and if we could finish in the top six, while you don't get any silverware, we could take a lot away from that because of Heineken Cup qualification," added Grove.
"It would be the first time the club's ever got into the Heineken Cup. It would show that the club's moving forward.
"Everything's in place for us. We've got the big-name players, a new stand and the facilities are great here, so it's down to us now."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.