By A38
#2913
Another season starts:-

http://warriors.co.uk/2019/09/10/press- ... -10-09-19/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of the Premiership Rugby Sevens at Northampton on Friday and Saturday.

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the pre-season training camp in Spain

It was an excellent week. The facilities were fantastic, the weather was good which allowed us to start training at 7.30am. It was hugely beneficial and the players enjoyed it
Last year we went to Spain during the conditioning period of pre-season. This time it was more rugby-focused

We have had two four-week blocks of pre-season followed by a week off. We were off last week but the players came back in on Monday and we have a very tough week this week

On the reasoning behind not playing any pre-season friendlies this year
The season is starting later because of the Rugby World Cup and most clubs have decided not to play pre-season friendlies but to use the Premiership Rugby Cup as warm-up matches
We hope to give most players an opportunity in the four cup matches. We do have good strength in depth and good competition for places

What sort of squad will go to the Premiership Sevens?

It’s a good opportunity to give young and developing players an opportunity to play plus one or two more experienced guys depending on bumps and bruises
For me it’s a development competition and the opportunity for youngsters to show what potential they have and to gain valuable experience
The squad will be coached by Gordon Ross and Mike Hill and managed by Mark Hewitt

Injuries

Marco Mama: Marco is back in full training and he’s looking good. Marco is the consummate professional, he looks after himself and he knows and understands his body
The medical staff here and at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford looked after him really well and he’s made a good recovery
By A38
#3267
http://warriors.co.uk/2019/09/17/press- ... -17-09-19/

Alan Solomons spoke to the media ahead of the Premiership Rugby Cup match against Leicester Tigers at Sixways (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On facing Leicester

It’s the first game of the season and pretty much all the clubs are using these cup matches as preparation for the Gallagher Premiership
Whatever team clubs put out will be a good team because there is such strength in depth
The players will be keen to get into the season after a long pre-season

Is it a chance to assess Leicester before the opening Premiership match next month?

I think we have a reasonable idea about Leicester already as I am sure they have about us
For us Saturday’s match is more about our performance and focusing on our own game rather than analysing Leicester

Any clues about selection for Saturday?

In our first two games most of the senior squad will be involved and possibly some of the Academy boys as well
Unless there is a specific reason for not selecting someone everyone will get some decent game time

On last weekend’s Premiership Rugby Sevens

The feedback I have had has been very positive. We took a young squad to Northampton with quite a few Academy players in there and they acquitted themselves well.

Injuries

Marco Mama is fully fit and back in training but we are likely to hold him back until next week
Ryan Bower suffered a very unfortunate injury at Saracens last season which ruled him out for the rest of the season. He is fully fit now and we will bleed him back into the team through the bench
Francois Venter has a calf injury so he won’t be considered for selection this week
Matt Moulds took a bang to a knee in the training camp we had in Spain. He had keyhole surgery on Monday to have the injury cleaned out. He’s been back in today to receive treatment
By A38
#3928
Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Premiership Rugby Cup match at Bath (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On beating Leicester
It was a good start and very positive all round for us
It was our first game for some time and it gave us the opportunity to give game time to some of the younger players and those, like Ashley Beck, Jono Lance and Ryan Bower, who did not play much last season because of injuries
To put into perspective, Leicester sent out a very young side but there were plenty of positives for us

On facing Bath
There is no doubt this will be tougher;
1. Because we are playing at Bath and
2. We expect Bath to send out a reasonably strong side
Every club will do what suits them best to prepare for the start of the Premiership but I would guess that Bath will play a reasonably strong outfit against us

On selection
We said that we would give everyone who is fit and available game time in the first two cup games to give them the chance to compete for places
After this match we will review the first two games in context and see what do for games three and four

Injuries
Dean Hammond has come through the protocols having failed a Head Injury Assessment against Leicester. But he would not have played this weekend anyway as he played last weekend
Melani Nanai is fit, he’s available and he is going to play. He’s settled in really well, he’s gelled well with the other players and he’s a class player
Marco Mama is fine. The complications he suffered to a dead leg came at the end of last season which is some time ago. He’s fit and ready to go
Jono Kitto suffered an abductor muscle injury in training before the Leicester match.
Matt Moulds is making good progress from the keyhole surgery he had on his knee injury.
Francois Venter is not that far away with his calf injury but we want to be conservative with him.

On Warriors players in the Rugby World Cup
Really pleased for Ed Fidow scoring two tries on his World Cup debut for Samoa against Russia
It was great to have Ed here for a few weeks, he’s a really nice guy and he can play – the experience and exposure will be good for him.
Joe Taufete’e will look forward to playing for USA against England. It will be a tough challenge for USA but Joe will not hold back. It’s great to see him playing on the world stage
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By A38
#3934
https://warriors.co.uk/2019/10/01/press ... -01-10-19/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Friday’s Premiership Rugby Cup match against Exeter Chiefs at Sixways (kick-off 7.45pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the defeat at Bath
We started quite brightly, had a nice break down the left, got a penalty, won the lineout but then gave a penalty away
There was a momentum swing when Bath kicked a penalty and in the next 14 minutes we gave away two pretty soft tries
They scored a third try and at 24-0 after 30 minutes we were staring down the barrel but what pleased me most is the way we fought back. We scored a try just before half-time and had a lot of pressure in that third quarter. Alex Hearle and Ollie Lawrence both went close before Ollie scored
But we then lost both tighthead props in quick succession which made it difficult, we gave away penalties at scrum-time and they got a penalty try
But we showed resilience at the end and scored two really good tries which gave us a bonus point and came within a hair’s breadth of a second

What sort of team are you likely to play against Exeter?
It’s a six day turnaround so you can expect that the majority of players who played last week will not feature against Exeter

What do make of Exeter?
They are a fantastic side, they are a really fantastic club. They are well-led, well-coached and well-supported. They are one of the top sides in England
They have done outstandingly since they came into the Premiership. The way they built things over time has been outstanding. I have nothing but respect for them

Are you looking forward to the first match under the new Sixways floodlights?
Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham, our co-owners, have invested significantly in the facilities
The new big screens, Fanzone and PA system were in use for the Leicester match. They all made for a fantastic experience for everyone
We are looking forward to playing under the new floodlights and I hope that all our supporters turn out in force because Sixways has become a great venue to watch rugby in

Injuries
Nick Schonert has a tear in a medial ligament. He is seeing a specialist on Thursday when we will know more detail
Will Butler has a sprain to his upper ankle and he will be seeing a specialist on Friday
Richard Palframan failed a head injury assessment at Bath and will not be considered this week
Farai Mudariki has a slight ankle injury
Melani Nanai came off for a head injury assessment at Bath which he passed
Matt Cox is still recovering from illness
Francois Venter is tracking well in his recovery from a calf injury but will not be risked this weekend
Anton Bresler has not recovered from his ankle injury.
Matti Williams has recovered from a groin injury and is available for selection
Abmatt liked this
By A38
#4185
https://warriors.co.uk/2019/10/08/press ... -08-10-19/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Premiership Rugby Cup match at Wasps (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the performance against Exeter Chiefs
It was an incredible performance. They put out what was close to their strongest available side. We had a thread of experience in our team but we also had a lot of inexperienced players
We made more than 300 tackles and a completion rate of 92 per cent. We also played with 14 men for 20 minutes with three minutes to go we were only 20-19 down
The effort the players put in was remarkable.

On Wasps
I think they will basically play close to their strongest XV
We know that they will play with width and tempo and it will be a tough challenge for us.
We have to start better when we are playing away. That is something we spoke about after the Bath match and it is something we need to address

On the Premiership Rugby Cup so far
This has been a preparatory period for the Gallagher Premiership for all clubs.
We have competition for places in the squad and over the four games we have tried to give everyone who is fit and available the opportunity to showcase their talent.
The first match against Leicester they put out a young side so we have to see that in perspective.
The second game at Bath we started slowly but then built our way into the game and and we came back well to get a try bonus point.
The Exeter match was a tremendous effort against a strong side.

Injuries
Nick Schonert will be out for at least three months with a grade two tear of a collateral medial ligament. His right knee is in a brace. Premiership regulations allow injury dispensation for a player who is out for in excess of 12 weeks and that is something that we considering.
Farai Mudariki rolled an ankle in training and he is going to have that scanned.
Francois Venter has trained today but it is probably a week too early for him to play.
Will Butler is having an operation on his ankle injury today. We should know more about how long he will be out once the specialist has performed the operation.
Anton Bresler has trained today and he will come into consideration for Saturday.
Matt Cox will train on Thursday.
Jono Kitto trained today and will definitely come into consideration this weekend.
Ryan Bower and Isaac Miller both failed head injury assessments last Friday but both should be fine this weekend.
By A38
#4490
https://warriors.co.uk/2019/10/15/press ... -15-10-19/

Warriors Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Leicester Tigers at Sixways (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the Premiership Rugby Cup campaign
We have given everyone the chance to play and compete for places and we have learnt a lot of valuable lessons.
It has been very beneficial in preparing us for the Gallagher Premiership season.

On the performance at Wasps
Although we conceded an early try, it didn’t deter us and I thought that we were really good in the first 20 minutes, we carried through the half.
I thought we edged the first half but we didn’t take the opportunities that came our way.
They scored a penalty just before half-time and there was a massive momentum swing at the start of the second half when they kicked an early penalty and they scored again from the kick-off which put them 18-3 up.
We kicked a penalty and got it back to 18-6 and we had another penalty which we missed, which would have made it 18-9. But when they scored again it was 25-6 and the game was gone.
One thing that we battled with was the aerial contest. We lost that and paid a price for it because a lot of the try origins came from mistakes in the air. We need to be good in the air. Perhaps we have to spend extra time practising that and that is something we have started immediately.

On facing Leicester
All the sides have good strength in depth and they are all well-prepared and well coached. You will not have an easy game.
Leicester are a good team and a good club. They will be well prepared and well coached and it will be a tough game that’s for sure.
What happened last season is history and I never go too much on history. They have built a bit of momentum in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

On Ed Fidow & Joe Taufete’e
They both have done well in the World Cup. They both had tough pools but all the nations have been competitive.
It was be a great experience for them. It’s good for them to play tier 1 nations and they will have learnt a lot.
We expect them back towards the end of this week but they won’t be available this weekend.

Injuries
Andrew Kitchener went for a head injury assessment against Wasps and he is still going through the protocols and he is unlikely to feature this weekend.
Matt Moulds is unlikely to play in this first block of Premiership matches.
Francois Venter has trained last week and this week and he is available for selection.
Michael Fatialofa has recovered from a knee injury and is available.
Justin Clegg also had a head injury assessment playing for Hartpury at the weekend.
Matt Cox has trained well this week and it’s good to see him back.
Farai Mudariki is likely to be out of action for between four and six weeks.
Sam Lewis popped a rib a couple of weeks ago and that is still giving him some discomfort.
By A38
#4753
https://warriors.co.uk/2019/10/22/press ... -22-10-19/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match at Northampton Saints (kick-off 2.00pm).

Here’s what he had to say:

On the opening day win over Leicester Tigers

It was very important to get the campaign off to a good start and to get four points.
The game never really got pace into it. It was very stop-start and we were unable to inject the tempo we would have liked.
There were 13 penalties against us, a lot of them at the breakdown, and we will be certainly looking to reduce that this week and going forward.

What aspects of the win pleased you?

I was very pleased with Duncan Weir’s kicking and we had some good passages of play in attack.
Ted Hill had an exceptional game and I would be shocked if Ted is not a major figure in the next Rugby World Cup.

On facing Northampton

The game will have a lot more tempo in it, that’s for sure because Northampton like to get pace into their game and Franklin’s Gardens is a fast track to play on.
Northampton won away at Saracens at the weekend. Although Saracens are missing a number of players that was still a very good win on the road so we are in for a tough game.

Will Joe Taufete’e and Ed Fidow play this weekend?

They both arrived back at the end of last week and they have been straight into training.
It’s easier for Joe because he has been part and parcel of the club for some time.
Ed has not played a match for us. He is still getting used to our systems so he will need a bit of time to bed in, We will assess his progress at the end of the week.

Injuries

Andrew Kitchener has an infected thumb and he has not trained this week.
Justin Clegg has come through the HIA proptocols after the head injury he sustained playing for Hartpury.
Sam Lewis should be fine this weekend. We took him out last week to allow him to recover from his rib injury.
By A38
#5014
https://warriors.co.uk/2019/10/30/press ... -30-10-19/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Exeter Chiefs at Sixways (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:
On last week’s trip to Northampton Saints
I thought we played really well in the first half but in the second half we compounded errors with penalties.
At 20-9 we were in a good position. We were awarded a penalty which we elected to kick to the corner. We won the lineout but we didn’t put points on the board.
After that we a combination of errors and penalties were our undoing and we have taken some harsh lessons from the game.
We are looking to get our penalty count into single figures and also to reduce our contact errors.
On facing Exeter
Their game at Bath last week was played in pretty difficult conditions. It was wet and the pitch was pretty muddy but credit to Bath on the win.
We have had some good games against Exeter over the years. They are a quality side and they have established themselves as one of the top two teams in England.
We need to perform at our absolute best. If we do that we will give ourselves a chance.
Injuries
Francois Hougaard will be out of action for at least three weeks with a shoulder injury which he sustained at Northampton.
Andrew Kitchener is back running again but he won’t be considered for selection this week because of his hand injury.
Marco Mama has recovered the knock to the head he suffered in training last week and will be available for selection this weekend.
Nick Schonert is making good progress from his knee ligament injury and he has been running this week.
By ROLLO
#5018
If Solly thinks that being 20-9 down is a good position, I would hate to be in a poor one.
Solly is a likable fellow but comments like that are complete and utter bilge water IMHO and do not fill me with confidence.
#5028
Take it in context. 20-9 down with an attacking penalty in the corner that could have made it 20-16. That's a good position. He then admits that failure to capitalize on that position did for them.
I know that some people would like him "to tell it like it is", but I believe that is counter productive.
By A38
#5370
http://warriors.co.uk/2019/11/06/press- ... -06-11-19/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media on Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match at Harlequins (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the Exeter match
It was a game we should have won. An act of indiscipline gave away a penalty and Exeter the opportunity from which they scored a try.
We then botched an exit, they got a lineout on our 22. We defended really well and Ethan Waller actually won the ball back only for Harry Williams to reclaim it and he scored the winning try.
We have reviewed the Exeter game and it has been put to bed now. We have to move forward not look back. We have to play with fire in our belly and ice in our head and our exits have to be top notch every single time.

On Harlequins
They are at home and they are going into it on the back of game that didn’t work out for them at Northampton.
They are likely to have Danny Care and Mike Brown back and they will be super-motivated.
Paul Gustard has made a great impact since he joined them before the start of last season. They have a strong defence and it will be a tough challenge for us at their home ground.

On likely team selection for Harlequins
We have a only six day turnaround between matches so we will have to take that into consideration when we select the team.
Ed Fidow has had a couple of weeks to acclimatise after the Rugby World Cup and he will definitely come into consideration this weekend.

Injuries
Sam Lewis is going through the return-to-play protocols after he went off for a Head Injury Assessment on Saturday.
Chris Pennell suffered a deep laceration to a thigh against Exeter and hasn’t trained this week.
Duncan Weir took a blow to a hand and he has been for an x-ray.
Marco Mama suffered a knock to a leg.
Ryan Mills got through the game but has a sore shoulder.
Jono Kitto trained today. We will see how he is on Thursday.
Andrew Kitchener is back in training having recovered from an infected thumb.
Caleb Montgomery has a sore wrist which has been troubling him for several weeks.
By A38
#5664
Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Friday’s European Challenge Cup match against Enisei-STM in Krasnodar.

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On beating Harlequins
We played really well and we managed the game well in difficult conditions.
We didn’t start particularly well but we clawed our way back into the match and Jono Lance’s penalty on the stroke of half-time was vital because it meant we were only five points down.
If you look at the game as a whole we had 15 penalties to their ten, we turned the ball over 13 times, they turned it over 20 times. In terms of territory and possession we had the better of the game and we deserved to win.

On the first four Gallagher Premiership matches

We would have liked to have got the win against Exeter but nine points is a decent return from four games. But there is still a long way to go in the season.
We were missing a number of players who would have come into consideration against Harlequins so to play as well as we did speaks volumes for the strength in depth we have in the squad.

On facing Enisei
It’s an opportunity for rotation and give opportunities to some of the players who haven’t played recently and to rest those who have been playing.
It’s about not only keeping the squad playing but keeping the squad fresh. We also have to take into consideration that it’s only a six-day turn-round from Harlequins.
We don’t know a lot about Enisei but we know that they are one of the top clubs in Russia. They are likely to be a physical side.

What is your travel schedule like?
We will leave Sixways at 4pm on Wednesday and we travel overnight. We are due to get to our hotel in Krasnodar at lunchtime on Thursday.
We will have a team run at the stadium on Thursday afternoon to get the journey out of our legs and then we are flying straight back after the match.
We have a flight at 1am on Saturday morning and we are due back at Sixways around 3.30 on Saturday afternoon.
It’s not ideal but it’s long, long trip and it’s the best way that we could do it.

Injuries
Chris Pennell is recovering from his lacerated thigh and he is due to train on Wednesday.
Ryan Mills and Duncan Weir will also be back in training on Wednesday and we hope they will be available for the match at Castres next week.
Matt Moulds has been back in training this week.
Nick Schonert has been back in training this week. Nick has recovered well from his knee ligament injury which is a credit to him and our medical and conditioning staff.
Francois Hougaard will continue his rehabilitation from his shoulder injury at Sixways while we are away in Russia.
Andrew Kitchener has recovered from his infected thumb and he will come into consideration this weekend.
Marco Mama took a blow to his right leg on the same spot that he suffered the dead leg towards the end of last season. He suffered some internal bleeding and has seen a specialist who says that there is nothing untoward. It’s roughly a six week injury but we hope Marco will be back sooner.
By A38
#5971
https://warriors.co.uk/2019/11/19/press ... -19-11-19/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s European Challenge Cup match at Castres.

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the win against Enisei-STM in Russia
It was a long trip but everything went smoothly and we were well looked after.
There were eight members of the Three Pears Warriors Academy in the 23 and another six who have come through the Academy.
The boys played really well and managed the game well. We applied pressure throughout the game and although they scored a couple of tries in the second half we finished strongly.

On facing Castres
They didn’t put out their strongest team against Dragons last weekend but I would expect them to do so on Saturday.

If you look at their form in the Top 14, Castres are very strong at home. They fiercely protect their home ground so it’s going to be a very tough game.

The Enisei trip was tough. We left the hotel in Krasnodar at 2.30 on Saturday morning and went to the airport for a 5.30am flight to Moscow and we didn’t get back to Sixways until 3pm on Saturday. Everyone is feeling the effects this week.

This week we will leave Sixways on Thursday evening and stay overnight at Heathrow because we have an early flight on Friday and we don’t get back until Sunday.

So we will have had back-to-back heavy trips and we will rotate the squad.

Will Ryan Mills make his 100th appearance for the club in Castres?
Yes he will. Ryan has been a fantastic servant of the club and integral part of it for some time now. He’s an extremely talented player and to play 100 games for the club is a wonderful achievement.
Jamie Shillcock will also be in the squad and will be in line to make his 50th appearance for the club which is another notable landmark.

Injuries
Matti Williams suffered an abductor muscle injury in Russia and he will need to have that scanned.
Dean Hammond suffered a foot injury. He’s been for scans and we are awaiting the results.
Chris Pennell has taken a full part in training this week and he will be available for selection this weekend.
Duncan Weir has also trained fully this week and is available for selection.
Francois Hougaard has recovered from his shoulder injury and is available for selection.
Nick Schonert has recovered from his knee injury and is available for selection.
#5973
It’s a punishing schedule over these 2 weeks. Has any other club had anything approaching?

Much better news on injuries, let’s hope the returnees benefit from a bit of game time without getting broken again.
#5991
Kudos to the Warriors medical team and Nick's fitness that he is back so soon.The conundrum is will Solly risk him for part of the match v Castres to get him back to match fitness or save him for arguably the more important game v Sale?

I doubt he'll run out for the Cavs on Monday but you never know.
By A38
#6305
Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Sale Sharks at Sixways (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On Ted Hill signing a contract extension

I am absolutely delighted. It’s fantastic news for the club.
We have made it clear we want to build the club through the medium of our young players and Ted is one of our leading lights.
He is one of the best young players in England but he is Worcester born-and-bred and he wants to stay with us.
He’s also a fantastic bloke which is also important for the club.
I think he will become a permanent fixture in the England side, it’s just a matter of time. He’s a superb rugby player, he’s very humble and he goes about his business in a very good way.

On the return of Jonathan Thomas as Forwards Coach next season

JT was a fantastic player who played for Wales 67 times, he played for Warriors and he also captained the club. He also lives in the county and he shares the ambitions we have for Warriors.
I worked with him when I was a consultant at Bristol. JT is a fantastic bloke, an outstanding leader and an exceptionally gifted young coach.
We want to have a strong Worcester flavour, not just in the playing squad, but also in our coaches. Mike Hall has already re-joined us from Bristol as Manager of the Three Pears Warriors Academy.

On the trip to Castres

The result could have gone either way but I didn’t think that we were totally on our game. We had a couple of line breaks that could have led to tries but didn’t.
We conceded two soft tries albeit there was what seemed to be a clear forward pass in the build-up to the first.
The positive is that it was good preparation for what is going to be a very tough afternoon on Saturday.

On Sale

It’s going to be another tough game. They got strength in depth and they made some significant signings from South Africa.
It’s still very early in the season but we are reasonably pleased with the start we have had.
We’ve made a solid start. We were disappointed that we didn’t beat Exeter but in our last Gallagher Premiership match at Harlequins we handled the dreadful conditions well and deservedly came away with a win when we were missing seven players.

Injuries

Matt Moulds, Francois Hougaard and Nick Schonert all returned from injuries against Castres and are available for selection again this week.
Dean Hammond has suffered a Lisfranc injury, similar to the one sustained by Alex Hearle. He won’t require surgery but he will be out of action for around 12 weeks.
Matti Williams has an adductor muscle injury and will be out for between six and eight weeks.
Andrew Kitchener suffered a rib injury against Enisei-STM. He won’t be fit this week but he should be ready to face Dragons the following week.
Marco Mama is still two or three weeks away from playing.
By A38
#6660
Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s European Challenge Cup match against Dragons at Sixways (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the win over Sale Sharks
It was a massive win for us and four invaluable points.
We struggled to get any ascendancy in the first half because we turned over possession 12 times and we then gave away an interception try.
But we played intelligently when they went down to 14 men, we secured possession and dominated territory. We also reduced our error count.
We scored two tries, had one disallowed and had another opportunity with a kick down the right hand corner where the decision was to award them a penalty

On facing Dragons
They are a tough outfit and are particularly tough at Rodney Parade. They are very gritty and they some good players so they will be tough fixtures.
The players who will play on Saturday will enjoy playing here at Sixways in front of our home crowd.

Are you likely to rotate your squad?
The Sale match was a very physical one so there will be a rotation of players this week.

On re-signing Francois Venter and Nick Schonert
Francois is an outstanding player. He has got international experience, he’s a hard, physical player with a good skill-set, a good bloke a good team man.
Sharky has become one of the pre-eminent tightheads in the Premiership and he has come close to selection for England on several occasions.

Injuries
Francois Venter rolled an ankle late in the first half against Sale. He will have scans later this week.
Caleb Montgomery has had surgery on a wrist injury and will be out of action for around 12 weeks from the time of the operation.

http://warriors.co.uk/2019/12/03/press- ... s-3-12-19/
By A38
#7046
https://warriors.co.uk/2019/12/10/press ... -10-12-19/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Friday’s European Challenge Cup match against Dragons at Rodney Parade.

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On beating Dragons at home
A credit to the players for getting the win and the bonus point.
But, looking at the game again, we gave away too many penalties and turned over too much possession which is why we could not build any pressure.
Against Sale we retained the ball better in the second half and had considerable more possession than we did against the Dragons.

On the return match
I have been to Rodney Parade with both Edinburgh and Ulster and it’s never an easy place to go to.
They are playing at home. It’s going to be a tough fixture but that is what we need ahead of the next block of Gallagher Premiership games.

Are you likely to rotate the side?
With a Cavaliers match against Wasps A at Sixways next Sunday everyone is going to have the opportunity to get some game time this weekend.

On Ethan Waller signing a contract extension
It’s fantastic news. He’s a superb player. With Nick Schonert on the other side of the scrum also signing an extension, it’s great news for the club.
Ethan is a great team man, he’s popular with everyone.
His work around the park is exceptional, he’s a strong scrummager as well.

On Gareth Simpson signing his first professional contract
Gareth came here on trial last year and proved himself. He gets his head down and works very hard.
He is versatile because although he is scrum-half he can also play at ten and on Saturday he came on at full-back.

Injuries
Chris Pennell is going through the return-to-play protocols after he failed his HIA on Saturday. We are optimistic that he will be able to play on Friday.
Jamie Shillcock sustained an ankle injury on Saturday and probably won’t be considered for selection this week.
Ollie Lawrence also suffered an ankle injury. It doesn’t look too serious.
Matt Moulds suffered a dead leg on Saturday.
Tom Dodd took a blow to his ribs and it’s probably too early to consider him for selection this week.
Perry Humphreys trained fully today and he should be fine for this weekend.
Francois Venter suffered an ankle injury against Sale. He is due to see a specialist later this week but, at this stage, it looks like he will be out for between five and six weeks.
Will Butler is due to start training in the next week or so and we hope that he will be back playing by the end of the month.
Tom Howe was unavailable last weekend as he was attending his brother’s wedding but he is available again this weekend.
By A38
#7272
Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Friday’s Gallagher Premiership match at Gloucester.

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the Dragons European Challenge Cup match

We turned over too much ball and compounded that by the number of penalties we gave away.
Discipline and errors make a massive difference in conditions like we had last Friday.
We did really well to come back from being 13-0 down to lead 16-13 but, having said that, we were a long way short of our best.

On the prospects of progressing from the group

To some extent it’s out of our hands. We need to win our last two games against Enisei-STM and Castres and get a bonus point in each match too.

On facing Gloucester

They are a good, strong side, particularly at Kingsholm.
We’ve prepared reasonably well but we have a tough block of games coming up over Christmas with Gloucester away followed by London Irish at home and then Saracens away.

On Niall Annett signing a contract extension

It’s great news for us. Niall is a great technician at the set-piece. He’s a very intelligent guy, he’s got excellent skills and a fantastic work rate.
He’s been an integral part of the club for several years and he’s very positive about what we are trying to achieve and it’s great that he wants to stay and be part of that.

On Cavaliers’ Premiership Rugby Shield win against Wasps A on Monday

The lads did splendidly and it shows the depth we have in the squad.
Competition for places is healthy because it drives the development of players and it drives performance.
What pleased me and impressed me is that while things went swimmingly in attack we were physical in defence and we defended well throughout.

On Ethan Waller’s red card at Dragons

Ethan’s disciplinary hearing is in London on Wednesday morning. It’s now part of a disciplinary process and it would be inappropriate to comment further.

On Matt Sherratt’s appointment as Attack and Backs Coach for the 2020/21 season

Matt has a close connection with Worcester as he started his career here in the Academy.
He’s also close friends with our Academy Manager Mike Hall and Jonathan Thomas, who is joining us as Forwards Coach so that should be good for the synergy of the coaching team.
He’s got good experience with Bristol, Cardiff Blues, Ospreys and Wales. He was Wales Attack and Backs Coach in the Six Nations when Rob Howley was acting Head Coach while Warren Gatland was with the British and Irish Lions.
Matt has a good reputation as a coach, he’s a really good bloke and I am looking forward to working with him.

Injuries

Francois Venter is seeing a specialist today so that should give us a clearer picture of the extent of his ankle injury.
Niall Annett has a tear in a rotator cuff in a shoulder. It’s a grade one tear and he is likely to be out for between four and six weeks.
Matt Moulds has recovered from his deal leg and he will be available for selection this week.
Ryan Mills has trained this week having missed the Dragons match with a hamstring injury.
Ollie Lawrence’s ankle is still not quite right so we will have to assess that.
Marco played the first half for the Cavaliers on Monday. It will probably be too soon for him to play for the Cavaliers again at Gloucester on Saturday.
By A38
#7424
https://warriors.co.uk/2019/12/23/press ... -23-12-19/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match against London Irish at Sixways (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the defeat at Gloucester

It was still evenly poised with 20 minutes to go but the tipping point was the yellow card for Ryan Mills as they scored three tries while he was off the field. That made it 22-3 and the game was gone.
Some of our decision-making could have been better but we gave away 15 penalties to Gloucester’s six and we also had 14 turnovers and a lot of them were in attack.
You have got to have a laser-like focus. You can’t expect to build pressure if you can’t retain possession.

On facing London Irish in front of a sell-out crowd

The Commercial Team have done a tremendous job. There have not been too many sell-outs in the time I have been here.
The players will love it. There is nothing better than playing in front of a packed stadium.

What do you expect from Irish?

We will have to be on the money. You see from the results over the weekend that if you are a little bit off your game you will get punished.
Irish are a very physical side. Stephen Myler is an outstanding goal-kicker. They have got good players and they are a good team.

Will the players get time off for Christmas?

Christmas Day falls on Wednesday this year which is our normal day off which is quite fortuitous.
We will finish a bit earlier on Tuesday and will start a wee bit later on Thursday so the players can travel to be with their families but otherwise it’s a normal week for us.

Injuries

Anton Bresler took a blow to a bicep but he will be fine.
Cornell du Preez and Sam Lewis both had Head Injury Assessments at Gloucester and passed them.
Marco Mama has been training this week but he has only had 40 minutes of rugby in around seven weeks.
Will Butler had a tiny setback in his recovery but we hope that he will be fit to play against Enisei-STM in the European Challenge Cup next month.
Ropate Rinakama is with the club until the end of the month. It’s been great to have him around. He’s a fantastic bloke and he will be a fantastic asset to any club fortunate enough to have his services. He came in to cover for Nick Schonert but Sharky has regained fitness.
Farai Mudariki is back in training.
By A38
#7599
Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match at Saracens.

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the London Irish win

We turned over too much ball – around 22 during the match – and that made a huge difference. We could not build any pressure.
In the first half we left at least three tries – including the one Tom Howe had disallowed – out there.
But the key thing is that we won and we also denied Irish a bonus point. Winning the game was the biggest positive to come out of the game.

On facing Saracens

It will be a massive test. They are the best team in Europe and they are likely to be smarting from losing at Exeter yesterday.
They are an outstanding team who can field virtually a full international side.
It’s a major challenge and we need to be on our mettle to compete against them. But whoever goes there will relish that challenge.

Are you likely to rotate the squad?

There may be some enforced changes because of injury. But we have had three tough games on the bounce so there is likely to be some rotation.
We have got good depth in the squad and when appropriate – as we did at Harlequins – rotation will be used.

Injuries

Duncan Weir has got to see a dentist to assess the damage to his teeth and jaw, which already has a plate in there.
Nick Schonert failed a head injury assessment and he will have to go through the return-to-play protocol.
Melani Nanai has had an injection in a shoulder which we hope will clear up the injury that ruled him out of the Irish match.
Marco Mama is available this weekend.
Ollie Lawrence is in the Cavaliers squad against Northampton Wanderers this evening.
Will Butler was sent home today because of illness.
https://warriors.co.uk/2019/12/30/press ... -30-12-19/
By A38
#7874
https://warriors.co.uk/2020/01/07/press ... -07-01-20/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s European Challenge Cup match against Enisei-STM at Sixways.

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On Michael Fatialofa’s injury

Michael is still in intensive care and his condition remains serious.
He’s in good hands and he has the support of the entire club – owners, players and staff – as well as the whole rugby community.
Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are with Michael and his family.
Michael is a very well thought of. He’s a popular member of the squad and he is very highly-regarded by the other players.

On the Saracens match

You have got to give full marks to Saracens. They were outstanding and they were on top of us throughout the game.
There are some harsh lessons to be learnt from the match. Rugby is a collision sport and Saracens certainly won the collisions on the day.
They got onto the front foot, they won quick ball and they were clinical in their finishing.

What were the positives?

Ollie Lawrence combined well with Ed Fidow and Ed had a bit of work to do to score it but, if you are brutally honest, there were few positives to take away.

Will you rotate the side for Enisei?

Some of the lads will play again but there will be changes and opportunities will be given to some of our younger players.
In order to give ourselves a chance of reaching the quarter-finals we are going to need a bonus point win in each of our two remaining pool matches.
The focus really has to be on our game and making sure that we get our performance right.

Injuries

Ryan Mills suffered a bruised foot against Saracens. It’s not as bad as we initially feared.
Conor Carey ruptured an Achilles tendon at Saracens.
Sam Lewis suffered a suspected fractured cheekbone at Saracens.
Callum Black is going to see a specialist about a foot problem.
Duncan Weir has had dental work done but his jaw is still painful.
Nick Schonert has trained today and he may be required to be on the bench on Saturday because we are running short of tightheads.
Cornell du Preez is coming on well and he should be fit to face Castres next week.
Perry Humphreys took a knock to the ankle but he should be fine against Castres.
By A38
#8147
https://warriors.co.uk/2020/01/14/press ... -14-01-20/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Friday’s European Challenge Cup match against Castres at Sixways (kick-off 8.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the 66-10 win against Enisei-STM

The boys did really well. We scored some good tries and it was good to see so many youngsters out there.

On facing Castres

The way the Pool One table looks it seems that it will be the game that will decide who goes through to the quarter-finals.
I would imagine that Dragons will get five points out of their game against Enisei. We will have a tough game against Castres but, as move back into the Premiership, a game against quality opposition is just what we need.
We will wait and see what side Castres bring but we know from playing them over there that they are a good team.

Are you likely to make changes?

We will freshen things up a little bit. We look to bring some players back so we will make some changes this week.

How do you assess the European Challenge Cup campaign?

It’s been good in patches. We have played well at times and not so well at other times.
Neither of our away performances against Castres and Dragons have been up to the mark. We would have liked to have performed better in those games but we have performed reasonably well at home.

Cavaliers are going well in the Premiership Rugby Shield. What have you made of their season so far?

They have made a scintillating start with four bonus point wins.
We play Leicester Tigers Development at Sixways on Monday which will be our fourth home match in five.
But the win down at Gloucester before Christmas was terrific and we are delighted to see young homegrown players coming through.

Is there an update on Michael Fatialofa’s injury?

Michael remains in a serious condition in intensive care.
I visited him in hospital on Sunday. Everyone has been very supportive of Michael, His wife, Tatiana, and his family are doing their best to support Michael.
The response from across the rugby community has been terrific and everyone at Warriors is keeping Michael in their thoughts and hoping for a positive outcome.

Injuries

Conor Carey has ruptured an Achilles tendon and he will be out for the rest of the season.
Sam Lewis has not fractured his cheekbone as we first feared. He won’t be considered for selection this week but he could be back next week,
Callum Black is likely to be out for between six to eight weeks with an ankle injury.
Ryan Mills has some fluid in the tendon of a foot and he will not be considered this week.
Niall Annett and Melani Nanai have both suffered labral tears in a shoulder and we are seeking specialist advice.
By A38
#8535
https://warriors.co.uk/2020/01/21/press ... -21-01-20/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Wasps at Sixways (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the Castres European Challenge Cup match

At 27-12 we should win the game but there was a big momentum swing when we were penalised at the driving maul.
In the first half Castres tried to move the ball and hardly mauled at all. But once they realised that the driving maul was causing us some problems and they were getting some traction from it they used it well.
Europe was a mixed bag for us. We played well in parts but didn’t perform so well in others.

On Ted Hill’s England call-up

It’s fantastic news and fully deserved. I hope that he makes it into the squad for the Six Nations Tests.
England have a powerful squad and Eddie Jones has some particularly tough decisions to make in the loose forwards.
But Ted was outstanding for us at the weekend. He’s an extremely level-headed, he’s a good team man who loves Warriors and who has grown up in Worcester.

On Warriors’ Three Pears Academy

Ted is a fantastic example. First that he’s been a regular here having come through the ranks from Worcester to England. It sends out a huge message when a young guy comes out of school and makes it to international rugby. We have some really good youngsters and it’s important to see that they are getting game time.
Our vision for the club is that we build it through the medium of the academy.
The important part is that the young players see it happening. Seeing Ted, Ollie Lawrence and Nick David making it into the first-team shows the younger guys the vision we have and I want them all to stay.

On Cornell du Preez’s Scotland recall

I’m not surprised at all. Cornell has played really well for us and put in some terrific performances.
He’s a Test Match rugby player who is tough as nails.

On the news that Saracens will be relegated at the end of the season

It doesn’t alter anything from our perspective. We want to finish as high as we can in the table.
The Premiership is competitive, full stop.
When I was involved in the Super 12 there was no promotion or relegation but you knew that if you were ten or 15 per cent you would ship 50 points.
The Premiership will be as competitive as ever.

What do you make of Wasps?

I have watched quite a few of their Premiership games and they have played really well at times.
They were unlucky to lose to Northampton but they won down at Bristol.
They have some quality players across the board and they like to play with tempo and put width and pace into the game.

Injuries

Callum Black will miss this match but we hope he might be back during the course of the next block of Premiership matches.
Niall Annett’s shoulder is still not right.
Conor Carey is out for the rest of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Andrew Kitchener has taken bangs to his shoulder so he won’t be available this weekend.
Francois Hougaard has some fluid in a toe and won’t be considered for selection this week.
Melani Nanai is probably going to require surgery on his shoulder injury.
Ed Fidow pulled a hamstring playing for Cavaliers last night.
Justin Clegg is seeing a specialist about his knee injury but we hope he will be available when we return from our break.
Dean Hammond should be back playing between mid and late March.
Alex Hearle is making good progress and he could be back around late February.
Tom Howe trained today and should be fine for Saturday.
Joe Morris is unlikely to play again this season.
Farai Mudariki is close to coming back.
Oli Morris is on the verge of coming back but wasn’t quite ready to play for Cavaliers last night.
Michael Fatialofa’s condition shows some positive sign of improvement. We are hopeful that he will make a full recovery but he remains in intensive care in hospital in London.
By A38
#9443
https://warriors.co.uk/2020/02/11/press ... -11-02-20/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Bath Rugby at Sixways (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the Wasps match

I spent plenty of time to review the game carefully.
A key factor was the penalties we gave away in the second half. We gave away seven penalties in that half and six of them had consequences for us.
We were 13-5 up at half-time but we then gave away two double penalties in the first ten minutes of the second half which Wasps kicked to make it 13-11.
The final penalty count was only 11-9 against us but it was the big consequences of a number of those penalties that cost us.

Were the players ready for a break?

Yes, not only physically but also mentally. We have been going for 19 weeks on the trot now from the Premiership Rugby Cup, into the Premiership and then the European Challenge Cup.
Everyone is mentally and physically fatigued so we gave everyone a ten-day break.
We came back last Thursday and had a tough session on Friday; the boys have practised well.

On facing Bath

It’s going to be another tough game. The weather forecast suggests that conditions are not going to be the best.
Bath are a big old side and it’s going to be a very physical contest.
They are a well-balanced team but they do have a pretty big pack.

On Ted Hill, Cornell du Preez and Duncan Weir’s involvement in Six Nations squads

I am disappointed that they have not got the game time but it’s always a positive to train with an international team and it’s good that they are part of the set up.
I know that Ted’s time will come with England. Cornell has been playing well and it was disappointing that he missed out with Scotland against England but you can understand the thinking with Magnus Bradbury coming back at number eight and Adam Hastings has been going well at fly-half for them.

Injuries

Melani Nanai is out for the season. We decided it better for him to have an operation on his shoulder injury now so that we can rehab him by the end of the season and have him back completely fresh and ready to go for next season.
Tom Howe has a calf injury. We initially thought he would be out for around eight weeks but his latest scans are more encouraging and we hope that he will only be out for between four and six weeks.
Dean Hammond should be ready to play again around mid-March.
Noah Heward took a blow playing for London Scottish on registration last week and so he has to be stood down for 13 days.
Andrew Kitchener is fit and should be fine for this weekend.
Francois Hougaard is fine and should be ready to go this weekend.
Justin Clegg still has some bone bruising on a knee and is two to three weeks away.
By A38
#9777
https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/sport/1 ... ds-19-feb/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership match at Bristol Bears.

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the Bath match

It was really disappointing to lose. I thought we had done enough to win it.
We had lapses of concentration at key moments but showed resilience to come back from conceding an early try to lead 13-10 at half-time.
Early in the second half we gave away a penalty in that middle third of the pitch, they kicked to the corner, we had a lapse in our defensive system, they got in behind us, we got a yellow card and from the penalty they eventually scored.
Ten minutes later when we were still down to seven in the pack they got another penalty which they kicked to the corner and although we went back up to 15 men they mauled their way over for another try.
Those soft moments cost us.

On facing Bristol

They are a good side and they had a good win at Northampton on Sunday.
We have got to be on our mettle and what will be key is that we do not give away soft points.
We will have to play really well to secure victory. In parts our performance against Bath was really good, it was the soft moments that let us down.
The focus has to be on our performance. If we get our performance right we will get the right outcome.

Injuries

Justin Clegg has started running again this week but he is not yet into full training.
Dean Hammond and Ed Fidow should be ready to play around mid-March.
Tom Howe is also tracking well and he should also be ready for the next block of Premiership matches.
Ashley Beck missed the Bath match through illness but he is fully recovered.
Francois Venter ruptured a thumb ligament against Bath and he will be out for between four and six weeks.
Perry Humphreys has recovered from a hip injury and is available for selection.
Jamie Shillcock has recovered from a thigh injury and is available for selection
Duncan Weir and Cornell du Preez returned today from training with Scotland.
Ted Hill didn’t train with England this week because of a slight niggle but he is fully recovered and he trained with us today.
Niall Annett is fully recovered from his shoulder injury and he trained fully today.

On reports that the future of some players from Africa and Polynesia may be affected by an end to the Kolpak regulations when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union

Not everyone is in the same boat. Some of those players have British passports, others have leave to remain and others are married to British women.
It’s not something that is giving us too much concern. It might only affect two, at the most three players.

Will the decision to relegate Saracens mean greater rotation of the squad in the second half of the season?

You have got to be fair in your selection. You would like to give youngsters the opportunity to play so that they gain experience but that selection has to be on merit.
We have a number of injuries at the moment which gave Nick David and Scott van Breda opportunities against Bath.
Ollie Lawrence has come into the side on merit this season and Ted Hill has started every Premiership match apart from one when he was away with England.
The young bucks will get their opportunities but selection has to be fair and it has to be seen to be fair.
Seeing young Worcester players coming through excites me no end.
By A38
#10061
https://warriors.co.uk/2020/02/26/press ... -26-02-20/

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match at Leicester (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On Ryan Mills’ future at the club

Ryan and I have had good discussions, we have a good relationship. Ryan is a fantastic bloke, a terrific player and his contribution to Warriors has been immense over a number of years,.
He is reaching a point in his career where he wants to have experience and a different challenge.
As a club we are reaching a point in our development where we have seen Ollie Lawrence come through in the midfield, we also have Will Butler and Alex Hearle who are good young centres, we have two experienced international centres in Ashley Beck and Francois Venter and we also have Scott van Breda who can also play there.
Ryan wants to see what is out there and we have mutually agreed that he can do that and we will see what that brings.

On Joe Taufete’e joining Lyon

We have got two really good young hookers coming through in Beck Cutting from the Academy and Isaac Miller.
Matt Moulds has been captaining the side and Niall Annett is an outstanding all-round hooker.
Joe has given great service to the club, he’s a terrific bloke, he’s a good team man, I’ve really enjoyed working with him and I think he’s going to do fantastically in the Top 14.

On the Bristol match

We put in an immense defensive shift and made almost 300 tackles.
We had some really good opportunities that we didn’t close out. One or two were clear opportunities that should have been taken. In any tight game where you get opportunities you need to take them.
I also thought the penalty count against us was too high – 14-4. That made an enormous difference.
The defensive effort merited more than a losing bonus point.

Is the penalty count a concern?

There is a protocol with the RFU which we are going through. There will be some penalties naturally that we query and discuss.
It’s not just the penalties we give away. You have to look at the other side and penalties that were perhaps not given that you need to have a close look at.
Consistency there is the key.
We can control certain things like the situation where we have a clear opportunity to score and we don’t take that opportunity and we don’t and where we give away soft penalties.Where the margins are fine like they were at the weekend it’s soft moments that end up costing you.
There have been too many soft moments and we need to overcome that. The only way we will do that is by pointing them out, by applying ourselves to that and saying this is not acceptable and by looking at it in terms of our practices as well.

Injuries

Ashley Beck suffered a ‘stinger’ on Sunday. It’s not as bad as we first feared and hopefully he will only miss this weekend.
Tom Howe is making good progress from his calf injury. He trained today and it’s possible he will come into contention this weekend.
Francois Venter has undergone surgery to repair the ligament damage to a thumb.
GJ van Velze has tweaked a calf muscle but he’s fine now.
Callum Black will hopefully be back for the next block of Premiership matches.

On facing Leicester

They are one of the great clubs, not just in England, but in the world.
They will be missing their international players but they are still a very good side.
Results against them in the past have no relevance to what happens on Saturday.
By A38
#10552
Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Friday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Northampton Saints at Sixways (kick-off 7.45pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the importance of the supporters

It’s perfectly understandable that the fans are frustrated because everyone wants to win.
Last season we won a number of games – Leicester home and away, Saracens and Bath at home – with late scores, this season things haven’t quite gone our way.
The lads are putting in a huge amount of effort. Anyone who watched the Bristol match at Ashton Gate would appreciate what an unbelievable performance to restrict a side that plays a possession-based game to one try, and that came from a tap penalty.
We are so close and it’s important that our supporters stick with us through thick and thin.
My message is: keep the faith, come to Sixways on Friday and support the boys. The supporters have a big part to play in helping to get the boys over the line.
Having a big crowd behind the boys under the floodlights on Friday night is vital.

On the Leicester match

Losing Anton Bresler midway through the first half and Graham Kitchener at half-time had a major impact on us and it affected our set piece in the second half.
It meant that Ted Hill, who was carrying an injury, had to play the whole of the second half in the second row. We went from 60 per cent possession playing into the wind in the first half to 40 per cent possession with the wind at our backs in the second half.
The margins at this level are so fine. We will get across the line, you cannot give up.

On the recent run of defeats

We could have won any one of the last four games. If we had we would have been in a very different position.
We have got to keep things in perspective, stay keep focused, keep working hard and be persistent.
The commitment of the players is unbelievable. To put in 294 tackles at Bristol, then put in another big shift at Leicester six days later and then have another six day turn-round for Northampton requires a huge effort.

On the development of young players

What has been a big positive is that our young players are getting the opportunity to get some valuable game time.
It’s important that they are not just thrown in but that they develop in a balanced way and learn from playing alongside more experienced players.
Ollie Lawrence has had either Ashley Beck, Francois Venter or Ryan Mills alongside him in the centre.
Nick David played his first game on the wing with Chris Pennell at full-back, Kai Owen has had either Matt Moulds or Niall Annett alongside him in the scrum, Andrew Kitchener has played alongside either his brother or Anton Bresler in the second row and Ted Hill has been playing a back row alongside the likes of Marco Mama and Cornell du Preez.
These youngsters are going to be so much better because of the experience they have gained playing first team rugby this season and learning from the senior players around them.

Injuries

Anton Bresler failed a head injury assessment on Saturday and won’t be fit this weekend.
Graham Kitchener also failed a head injury assessment at Leicester. He is going through the return-to-play protocols but I’m more optimistic about him for Northampton.
Ted Hill should be fine to play against Northampton.
Marco Mama suffered a foot injury against Leicester and will be out for between five and six weeks.
Ashley Beck is still not 100 per cent right. With a blank weekend next week he should be fit to face Gloucester.
Dean Hammond and Ed Fidow should both be back by the end of the month.
Callum Black is back running and will hopefully be fit to return during the next block of Premiership matches.

https://warriors.co.uk/2020/03/03/press ... -03-03-20/
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