Ryan – We must keep lifting standards

Director of Rugby Dean Ryan insists Warriors must continue to lift their standards when they come up against Rotherham Titans in the Greene King IPA Championship this Saturday at Sixways (kick-off 12.35pm).

After thrashing fellow play-off hopefuls Nottingham Rugby 58-3 last Sunday, the Warriors boss wants his side to continue their progress as they approach the business end of the season.

He said: “It’s another chance to play well and another chance for people to push a little bit and lift standards again.

“We play well at home. We’ve been able to get crowds behind us and hopefully we can get that relationship going again this weekend.”

Saturday’s clash, which is Warriors’ annual Acorns Charity Matchday, will see Ryan’s men take to the field in their limited-edition pink shirt designed by the children of the hospice.

And Ryan knows this weekend’s opponents will be a tough nut to crack for his team who go in search of a club-record 21st consecutive win on Valentine's Day.

He explained: “Rotherham have changed a little bit. They’re well coached. They’ve got some decent organisation around some of the things they do and that goes back to a year ago when we played them in pre-season and they put us under some stress.

“They’ve lost a few decent players since then but they’ve still got some decent patterns going on.

“They’ve struggled with certain aspects, specifically around drive so they’ve been trying to work their way out of those and it’ll be a different challenge for us again.”

After signing England international Phil Dowson and London Welsh's Carl Kirwan earlier this week, the Warriors chief added: “Phil is one of the best around at being able to influence successful environments and I felt we needed another person in the middle of this business guiding it in the right way to being successful.

“Phil’s really excited about coming here and making an impression as a player so it’s a good bit of business for us.

“We chased Carl last year but we weren’t successful in getting him. I thought he was the form seven in the Championship and instrumental in the fact he’s leading that side at such a young age so I’m really excited about him coming here and being a part of what we’re trying to do.

“It’s about how to take this club back to being successful. That needs good people at the centre of the business and youngsters who really want to grow.

“What we’ve done over the last couple of weeks is a significant step. We have others to come and we’re really excited about the balance that we’ve got.”