Ruddock delight at Neath link-up

Warriors boss Mike Ruddock has revealed his excitement over a new link-up with triple Welsh Premiership champions Neath Rugby that will see the two squads train together during pre-season.

Director of Rugby Ruddock and Head coach Clive Griffiths have strong links with the Welsh club.

Neath team manager Stuart Evans was Ruddock’s assistant coach at Ebbw Vale while coach Jason Forster was Griffiths’ right-hand man last season at Doncaster and Ruddock’s key player when they were all at the Dragons.

Ruddock has already captured three All Blacks during the close season with Sam Tuitupou, Greg Rawlinson and Rico Gear all moving to Sixways.

But now he has turned to the side known as the Welsh All Blacks as part of his pre-season plans by inviting Neath, who face Romania in a World Cup warm-up in Bucharest next month, to train with the Warriors in the last weekend of July.

“As part of our preparations for the tough season ahead we have agreed to a conditioned training session with Neath Rugby,” said former Wales Grand Slam winning coach Ruddock.

“I know the team manager Stuart Evans very well and we are keen to develop a link between the two clubs to take forward, this is just the start of it.

“There have also been some reports of an actual fixture scheduled to take place between the two sides on that weekend but that is incorrect, it is more an intensive training exercise that will be mutual beneficial to both teams. And with the Sixways Live ’07 concert taking place that weekend the sessions will also be taking place away from Sixways.”

Neath Team manager Stuart Evans said: “We will use the weekend as another opportunity to enhance our fitness skills and bond as a team ahead of a pre-season game with Romania. We are delighted with the facilities on offer to us due to our association with Warriors.”