Howard – I want to learn from Pennell

Warriors full-back Ben Howard says he wants to learn from his England capped teammate Chris Pennell in order to grow as a player during the forthcoming season.

Howard, who signed a first-team contract earlier this year, is hoping for as much time on the field as possible in the new campaign and feels that more time working alongside his fellow full-back will aid his development.

He said: “I’ll be aiming to hopefully push for as much game-time as I can when the season starts.

“I want to be putting my name forward to play as much as possible and to learn from Chris Pennell as often as I can so that when my time comes, I can give a good account of myself and show what I can do.

“There’s more pressure now I’m in the first-team squad and I need to be putting in good performances but that’s something I will embrace.”

With Warriors currently out in Portugal undergoing intense pre-season training, Howard admits it is the toughest summer he has had playing rugby.

He explains: “This year’s pre-season training has been the hardest I’ve ever experienced. It’s really organised and there are a lot of new staff who have come in and are giving us new things to work on.

“The workload hasn’t necessarily increased but the sessions are more efficient and specific.

“Whether it’s longer aerobic sessions, short and sharp power sessions, or rugby conditioning games, the coaches are putting their mark on it and we’re enjoying it.”

With some new changes being put in place by Head of Strength & Conditioning Chris Hart, Howard believes the players are getting more out of their training.

He added: “Chris Hart has come in and changed the way we are doing things. The days are really structured and slightly different to what we’ve done before which gives us a new stimulus.

“We’ve been doing testing and running and the sessions are very specific. We’ve also been doing lots of lifting, running and power sessions which will all be very beneficial to us down the line and the guys are really enjoying it.”