Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock singled out Alex Grove for praise as the young centre capped a ‘dream’ full debut with a try and all-action display against champions London Wasps.
Warriors Academy product stepped up to the plate after Dale Rasmussen was ruled out with a stinger and never looked back with a sensational performance.
Grove scored an intercept first half try and Ruddock admitted his ferocious tackling and all-around game had helped fire up his team-mates.
“Alex Grove was man-of-the-match and that was thoroughly deserved,” said Ruddock.
“He made breaks and tackled really well. His tackle early on against Josh Lewsey really lifted the team. I think the players thought ‘if a youngster like him can do that to an international player and drive him back 15 yards then we can get behind that effort’.
“I thought that was a critical moment for us and people flowed suit after that. He got the try as well and he had a dream full debut really.
“Alex is another youngster from our Academy who is really going well and it was fantastic to see young Graham Kitchener get on too, he certainly didn’t let us down and was magnificent in the time he had. There are a few more like that coming through.
“It has been tough times for us and it is still tough times for us, but if we can stick through this difficult period then I’m sure the future is rosey, we have a lot of home grown guys who have come through a system that will serve us well.”