ALEX Gidman says Worcestershire’s players are relishing the opportunity to perform at Blackfinch New Road for the first time in 2019.

Hamish Rutherford and Riki Wessels are both set to make their home debuts when Rapids take on Durham Jets in Wednesday's Royal London One-Day Cup encounter (11am).

New Zealand batsman Rutherford has already made his mark as Worcestershire’s early-season overseas player.

He hit centuries in the Specsavers County Championship Division Two opener at Leicestershire and the one-day cup clash with Lancashire.

Wessels, who has signed a three-year contract, has also showed his talent with a quickfire 72 to form an ideal launchpad in the Emirates Old Trafford meeting.

First team coach Gidman said: “I know the lads are looking forward to seeing all the members again, playing on our own wicket and hopefully having an enjoyable day and putting on a good performance for our members.

“We know how good they are to us. The lads genuinely are looking forward to playing at home in front of them and seeing all those friendly, familiar faces again.”

Callum Ferguson links up with Worcestershire for the second time this weekend and club captain Joe Leach is relishing seeing the Australian batsman playing all three formats of the game for the County.

Ferguson made a massive impact last summer for Rapids in the one-day cup and Vitality Blast.

He had a debut to remember when hitting Worcestershire’s highest List A score of 192 as Rapids overhauled a 377 target against visiting Leicestershire for their biggest successful 50-over run chase.

But equally important was Ferguson’s cool and composed 64 not out in the Blast quarter-final win over Gloucestershire.

It enabled Rapids to reach finals day for the first time and ultimately win the T20 tournament although the 34-year-old had flown back home by then for a winter campaign with South Australia.

Now Ferguson is returning for the bulk of the 2019 campaign as overseas player and will also be available to perform in the Championship.

He was fourth top scorer with 442 runs in the winter’s Big Bash playing for Sydney Thunder but also has an impressive record in red-ball cricket.

Leach said: “Callum made a massive impact in white-ball cricket last summer and his magnificent knock on his debut against Leicestershire set the tone for the period he was here.

“His coolness in seeing us over the line in the Blast quarter-final when you could sense the nervousness amongst everyone in the ground was equally superb.

“He also fitted in with the group of lads really well and it’s been the same at present with Hamish.

“It will be exciting to have Fergie back with the experience he brings and I’m looking forward to seeing him perform in all three formats.

“It’s also nice to have an overseas player of Callum’s quality for a lengthy period of the season, something that is not easy these days regarding overseas players.”

Ferguson will be available for the one-day cup match against Nottinghamshire at Blackfinch New Road on Wednesday, May 1.