Summer signing Andy Goode is ready to put the boot into the rest of the Championship – after revealing his determination to fire Worcester Warriors back into the English elite.
Fly half star Goode – who this week was at Sixways to check out his new surroundings – will link up with Warriors for pre-season training next month.
And the prolific scorer, who has played 17 times for England and scored 107 points, is keen to provide the fire-power to help the club launch a new successful era.
“I’m looking forward to running out in a Worcester shirt for the first time,” said Goode, who won four successive league titles and two Heineken Cup winners medals during his glittering career at Leicester Tigers.
“Everyone is disappointed that we got relegated and we will be playing in the Championship, but as a club we have got to look at the likes of Harlequins and Northampton who came back re-energised and straight back.
“They are now playing Heineken Cup rugby – that has got to be our target as a club, to bounce back in a year a lot stronger and fresher and then press on to become a top side.
“This challenge excites me, you don’t play rugby for rugby’s sake and you always want to be involved in a challenge,” he added.
“Initially the challenge for me when I signed was making sure Worcester broke into the top six and we brought Heineken Cup rugby to Sixways.
“That was the challenge that I saw as a massive reason for coming here. The challenge has not changed in that sense, but the first priority is to get back in the Premiership and then look at our long term goals.
“I look at it as a year in the Championship and me giving everything to get us up. Those big goals will always be the same for me and that is what I am here to do and achieve.”
Goode will join up with Warriors this summer after successful spells in France with CA Brive and most recently with Durban based Super 14 giants Sharks.
The Coventry-born star admits his time in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa – as he became the first English player to move into the top-flight of the Super 14 – was hugely beneficial.
“As a rugby experience, it was the best three months I have ever had,” he said. “I got to play in Australia and New Zealand and then back go to Durban in South Africa – there wasn’t really a bad day.
“I loved the lifestyle and getting the chance to go play rugby with 13 Springboks and play against Australia internationals and New Zealand internationals. I really feel I have learnt so much as a player and as a person.
“Now I want to get stuck in at Worcester and be a big part of bringing success back to this club. Everything that I have learnt, plus all the new signings and talent we have here, can take this club forward.
“Cecil (Duckworth) wants Heineken Cup rugby at Sixways and the players do as well. That might seem a long way off to some, but that is my goal.”