Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes admits his underlying feeling is of excitement as he prepares to do battle with domestic cricket's big guns in Division One of the LV = County Championship next season.

Rhodes is relishing the opening fixture against his native county and current champions Yorkshire at New Road starting on Sunday, April 12.

The former England wicket-keeper is keen to see how far Worcestershire have progressed in the past 12 months as they pit their wits against the cream of the crop in 2015.

Rhodes said: "That fixture against Yorkshire will be a great fixture. It will be interesting to see whether they are stretched a little bit for that game as well because there is going to be international cricket going on.

"At the moment Yorkshire quite rightly have got a lot of players involved in the England set-up so it will be interesting to see if they are down a few players.

"But, whoever plays against us, they are going to be full of confidence after last season and they are always a strong side.

"It is exciting to play against some of these big counties once again. That is the underlying thing about the fixture list when I look through it.

"It's exciting, Durham, Notts, Yorkshire, Somerset, Sussex, playing these guys is really exciting, and Warwickshire, to play against the old enemy again in the longer format, is really exciting.

"It will be difficult and it will be challenging but this is what we play the game for, to play against the best teams and see how much we have come on, see how much we have progressed."

Worcestershire met Yorkshire in the opening game of the 2011 season at New Road and the home side were well in contention for long periods before finally losing in three days.

Rhodes said: "That is the thing about four-day cricket is you have to keep pounding away and recognise opportunities.

"That may have been a victory opportunity that slipped through our hands. The best sides don't let it slip through their grasp.

"That is something we did well last year and something we'd like to build on going forward for next season."