Claassens targets big start to new season

Errie Claassens would be delighted to back up his Sevens super show with another flying start to the new season – but insists team glory for Warriors is what is really important at Sixways this season.

Claassens was one of the star performers for Warriors in the JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership 7s Series at Kingsholm last week with his elusive and powerful play rewarded with a try in all three games.

The popular South African-born back was pleased to be back playing his first competitive rugby in almost six months after injury robbed him of more action in the closing stages of last season.

Claassens is now eager to repeat the kind of form what saw him make a sensational start to his first season at Warriors as he produced a number of eye catching displays at full back.

However, the level headed back insists that will only be benefit if the team also performs in what is a big year for the Warriors in the Aviva Premiership.

“The competition at Gloucester was my first taste of rugby since February so, for me, it was important to get some contact and get game time again,” he said.

“It was good for my confidence. When you are out injured for a spell you just want to play again, so you feel better when that is done.

“Now I have got some rugby under my belt my mind-set will be different, I am looking forward to the season a great deal.

“I had a good start to last season and I want to back that up and start well again,” he added. “But what is more important is a good season for Warriors. The club is what is important.

“I’m pleased with the direction the club is going. We have spoken about attacking rugby and we are working on that side of our game.

“That is what rugby is all about, mixing up defence and attack and I’m sure people want to see us scoring tries and also having a strong defensive system. We are all looking forward to seeing how we go.”

Claassens remains modest about his own impact at Kingsholm, but insists the Warriors can take lessons from that night into the pre-season schedule with Cardiff Blues, Scarlets, Rotherham Titans and Plymouth Albion.

“I scored a few tries on the night, but I just picked the smallest guy,” he laughed.

“We are disappointed with how we went in the JP Morgan 7s Series and particularly the game with Gloucester. The try just before the second half hurt us and it could have been a different game.

“It would have been good to beat them, especially on home soil for them, but we enjoyed the event and it was good for fitness before the season starts and the warm-up games.

“We had spells in every game, but we lacked composure at times. If you do something good you can’t relax, the next moment the other team will be scoring tries again if you are not careful.

“It’s important you back up the good work and refocus and start over again. There are lessons we can take from this into the season, you can never relax.”

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"The competition at Gloucester was my first taste of rugby since February so, for me, it was important to get some contact and get game time again…"