New Year, Quick Start – Ruddock

Mike Ruddock has called on his Worcester Warriors to make a New Year’s resolution – stop being slow starters and come flying out of the traps in 2009.

Director of Rugby Ruddock was pleased with the way in which his side bravely battled back to claim a draw with fired up Newcastle Falcons in the last Guinness Premiership outing of 2008.

However, he admits his troops must start performing to potential from the first whistle and stop giving away early points if they are to climb up the league table in the New Year.

“The result at Newcastle was pleasing as we showed character and battled back – but we are notoriously slow starters and tend to give teams a head start,” he said.

“That is something that, going into 2009, we are very much aware of and something we want to refocus on.

“We have proved we can battle and shown we have resilience and are a robust team.

“But it would be nice to get some points on the board early doors in 2009 and hopefully push on and win some games that way.”

Warriors came out of the big double header with Newcastle and Bristol with two draws to climb up to eighth in the table.

Ruddock believes his team can now build on those results when they face high flying Sale Sharks on Saturday at Sixways Stadium – particularly as the squad is beginning to recover from recent injury problems.

“We have had two tough battles against two fired up teams and, crucially, we are just getting people back from injury,” added Ruddock.

“Against Bristol it was the first time in a while that we were able to put a backline out that we felt was reflective of our abilities.

“We have had a lot of youngsters out there who have done fantastically. But people like Rico Gear, Chris Latham and Chris Pennell have now come back and we have got Eoghan Hickey in on loan.

“We have been pretty disrupted in recent weeks so to get through the last two games and not lose either has been fairly positive, even though we gave away a draw to Bristol. Now we need to move forward and really start to show the potential and undoubted ability we have at Warriors.”

* Tickets to see Warriors open the New Year against Sale Sharks are on sale NOW! Call the Sixways Box Office on 01905 454183 today.