Head Coach Richard Hill believes his Worcester Warriors enter 2011 on an upward curve – and has warned the rest of the RFU Championship the best is yet to come from his squad.
Worcester finish 2010 on top of the league table and visit Hill’s former club Bristol Rugby in the first game of the year when they travel to the Memorial Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).
Ahead of that game, Hill has reflected on his first half year in charge and his belief that Warriors are now a much improved side that will only continue to make progress in 2011.
“I think the difference between our team in September and December is very marked, there is a huge improvement and we have another five months to go yet,” said Hill.
“Phil Davies and I are very pleased, it is coming together now. We are almost there and it is fine tuning now. The progress we have made in the first half of the season we are happy with.
“It has been hard work to get there but we have got there. Now it is exciting to keep the progress going and I would expect to see the difference in our team come April or May to be significantly better than it is now.
“We are getting better and better, more clinical,” he added. “You can see there are patches of play where we are very clinical, we don’t make many mistakes and give nothing away.
“If we keep the ball and play very simple and direct we will be difficult to stop. When the pack is going it is pretty awesome and we have some pace outside. The difference against Moseley was that when we made a half break we were through.
Worcester’s blistering recent form has already guaranteed the club a place in the end of season promotion play offs in the RFU Championship.
However, Hill admits the path back to the Aviva Premiership will not be an easy one and his squad will need to be at their very best in 2011 to win a place back in the top-flight.
He said: “Winning the league is going to be tricky – there are some tough opponents. We have now got to look at what is going to make the difference between ourselves and the likes of Bedford Blues, London Welsh and Cornish Pirates going up.
“They all play some good rugby, are well organised and technically good. We have got to find the difference compared to the other teams to get up.
“We have seen the opposition enough and we now understand ourselves – the players understand the coaches and the coaches understand the players. We have to concentrate on one or two aspects that will make us a cut above the others.
“It will be hard, but we are pleased that individuals are getting better and better. We will need some luck, some of these games will be tough and we can expect some hard fixtures. But there is no doubt this squad is now beginning to play like a Premiership team.”