DIRECTOR of rugby Alan Solomons has spoken of the logistical “difficulties” facing his Russia-bound Worcester Warriors side ahead of their European Challenge Cup opener.

Solomons admits Warriors will be taking a step into the “unknown” when they head to Krasnodar to face minnows Enisei-STM on Friday (4pm GMT).

But it is the marathon round trip that has provided an extra obstacle to overcome with the team needing to catch a flight just hours after playing in the Pool One fixture.

Warriors set off from Sixways at 4pm today to Heathrow before flying to Moscow and then Krasnodar.

They are scheduled to arrive at their hotel at lunchtime tomorrow – almost 24 hours since their journey began.

After playing Enisei-STM at the Kuban Stadium, Warriors will then get on a plane at 1am to Moscow before returning to Worcester at 3.30pm on Saturday.

“It isn’t ideal but there isn’t much we can do about it,” Solomons said.

“Unfortunately, it’s quite far away and this is the best way we could do it.

“The logistics are well under control but it’s just a lot of travel as it’s a two-hour bus trip just to get to Heathrow.

“You have to check in and wait for your flight to get to Moscow. You then have to wait again for your flight to Krasnodar. That’s lengthy.

“Once we are there we’ll put everything down, have something to eat and have a couple of hours to lie down before having a little bit of a run-out at the stadium on Thursday afternoon just to get the journey out of our legs.”

Enisei are located in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia but with temperature plummeting below zero they are forced to find alternative venues. Three years ago the two sides met at the Slava Stadium in Moscow with Warriors losing 19-12 to the reigning Russian Rugby Premier League champions “Logistically there are difficulties,” said Solomons on taking on teams from emerging nations.

“In the Champions Cup, it’s the top four teams in the Pro 14 and Premiership whereas in this competition the net is cast wider in order to give opportunities to emerging nations.

“It’s good for the players so everyone is excited.

“It’s a little bit of the unknown but the coaches are all looking forward to the game.

“Enisei are a good team from a Russian perspective. They will be a big, physical guys. It will be a tough old game.”

Warriors are on a high after coming from behind to beat Harlequins 19-14 at The Stoop in the Gallagher Premiership.

But Solomons is now set to ring the changes to give the rest of his squad the chance to press their claim.

“It’s time for a rotation to give lads that haven’t played an opportunity,” Solomons said.

“It’s important that we keep the squad playing and we also keep them fresh.”

Lock Andrew Kitchener, who played against Enisei in 2016, is expected to feature after overcoming an infected thumb.

“We definitely want to get Andrew back playing,” Solomons said.

“He has been out but is fit again.”

Asked whether new tighthead prop Ropate Rinakama could make his debut in Russia, Solomons added: “We have to weight everything up and decide what would be appropraite for this game.”