Press Conference Notes 18.12.18

Warriors Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media ahead of Friday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Northampton Saints.

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the win against Pau

  • The conditions were very difficult. The wind increased in the second half, it was freezing cold and raining.
  • We played intelligently in the first half, dominated territory and converted the pressure we had into two tries. We turned to play into the wind and dug in.

Duncan Weir’s contract extension

  • Absolutely delighted. Duncan has played terrifically well for us this season.
  • He showed that on Saturday what a good goal kicker he is. He can also steer us around the field, he’s a good game manager, he’s a very experienced player and a good bloke.

GJ van Velze’s contract extension

  • He’s been here a long time, he’s club captain, he’s played well this season and it sends out a really positive message.
  • We are getting a lot of the youngsters signed up but it’s important to blend that in with experienced players like GJ.

On Northampton

  • Looking at the Premiership table, from fourth to 12th place, there is nothing in it. It’s such a tough competition.
  • Northampton have some really good players, lots of experience and they are a very physical team so it will be another tough contest.

Ben Te’o

  • Ben had a rest after playing in three of England’s Autumn Internationals. He came back on Sunday and has trained this week. He’s looking in great shape.
  • It’s not Ben’s fault that he was injured and he has played only 30 minutes for us this season against Ospreys. We need to bleed him into the system at the right time. It’s a relatively quick process with such an experienced player.

On Alan’s first year with Warriors

  • I am very positive about the direction we are going. The vision I have is we want to build a sustainable Premiership club through excellent coaching and a vibrant, flourishing Academy.
  • At the moment the Club is in a very good state. We have restructured our Performance Department which operating well now under Johan Pretorius. Chim Gale is doing a good job with the Three Pears Warriors Academy. The new ownership has bedded in, we have a shared vision for the club which is really positive so we have made good progress.

Injuries

  • Jono Lance. By the beginning of February Jono should be fine. He’s progressing well.
  • Francois Hougaard, Sam Lewis and GJ van Velze. Have all trained this week and will be available for selection.
  • Jamie Shillcock. Is due to see a specialist on Wednesday about the ankle injury he sustained in Pau.
  • Alafoti Faosiliva. It looks like he may have suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury scoring his try on Saturday. It’s a tragedy that he is injured again because he is an invaluable member of the squad.
  • Cornell du Preez. Is out for the season.