LOOSEHEAD prop Ethan Waller says Worcester Warriors need to stop talking about being a potential top-six side and “put our money where our mouth is” this season.

Whenever Warriors have headed into a new Premiership campaign players and coaches have set their sights on a place in the top half of the table yet found themselves in a relegation dogfight.

Despite finishing in the bottom three again, Waller felt Warriors did make progress last season having registered a club record-equalling nine top-flight wins.

However the 27-year-old insisted the time had come to fulfil their potential this term as Warriors launch their league season against Leicester Tigers at Sixways today (3pm).

“Consistency is something we strive for,” Waller said.

“Last year we took another step towards being quite a bit better and this is another chance to build on that, take that next step and hopefully look towards the top end of the table as opposed to the bottom.

“If you look at last year and the way the table turned out Harlequins finished fifth and only had one more win than we did.

“It really shows that if you are off your game for a minute in this league that can really be the difference between ending up in fifth and 10th.

“We know we have the talent in the squad and the ability to do things.

“But it’s making sure that we can churn that out on a week-to-week basis.

“I want to get this club to where it should be.

“We have great facilities and a great group of lads with so much potential.

“We are taking those steps little by little but now this is a year where we have to put our money where our mouth is and stop saying this is what we could be and saying this is what we are.”

Unlike previous years Warriors started the 2019-20 season with four Premiership Cup games.

After beating Leicester on the opening day Worcester lost to Bath, Exeter Chiefs and Wasps to crash out of the competition.

But Waller insisted it was “not the end of the world” as they gear up for the Premiership.

“We have used it to get a lot of people game-time and for people to put their hands up for selection,” Waller said.

“They were all good tests and let us realise where we were as a team and areas we needed to work on. It’s good to be able to have those wake-up calls when there is not as much on the line.

“Training has been fantastic, the vibe has been brilliant and the lads are really excited to write those wrongs and get the season underway.”

Waller also stressed the importance of making a strong start to the campaign while many teams are missing their internationals.

England stars George Ford, Ben Youngs and Dan Cole are among nine Leicester players that are competing in the Rugby World Cup while Warriors are without Samoa’s Ed Fidow and USA’s Joe Taufete’e.

“Our camp has not been as badly affected as others which is obviously an advantage,” Waller said.

“You can’t underestimate how much momentum plays in this sport. If we can end up with a good league position after these four matches then we will go into the next block of Prem games with confidence and hopefully we can continue to push up the table.”

Warriors have won their past four meetings with Tigers but Waller added: “We know how dangerous Leicester can be.

“We want to make sure that when the whistle goes we make the best possible start to combat them.”