Heathcote itching to make his mark

New Warriors recruit Tom Heathcote admits he is itching to get back on the rugby field.

The summer acquisition from Edinburgh Rugby has already spent six weeks with his new teammates and revealed he is enjoying life at his new home. 

He said: “I’m really enjoying it. It’s an easy group to fit into and everyone’s been really welcoming. 

“I knew Gumbie (Mat Gilbert) and Tom Biggs from Bath, Ryan Mills from age-group rugby and also Alex Grove from Scotland A. 

“I’ve got a bit of a table tennis competition going on with Luke Baldwin too so he’s someone I’ve spent a bit of time with so along with the other new boys we’ve all felt really settled.”

The fly-half, who has represented his country three times, believes his experience internationally and domestically at the top level will be beneficial ahead of Warriors’ first season back in the Aviva Premiership.

He explained: “I think my time in the international set-up, the Guinness PRO12 and in the Premiership will be pretty useful. 

“My time at Bath is hugely important. Getting game-time at that level and also in the PRO12, which is a slightly different style, is vital. 

“The PRO12 aided some different areas of my game and will stand in me good stead for the new season.”

The 23-year-old admitted Director of Rugby Dean Ryan’s vision for the Club is one of the main reasons for joining the team at Sixways.

He revealed: “The opportunity that Dean presented to me is what sold the Club. 

“There is a relatively young squad here who have a lot of time to develop and who really want to improve and that kind of attitude is represented across the whole team. 

“The chance to be part of something that’s moving forward is fantastic and hopefully I’ll be involved for a number of years.”

With the Barbarians first up in pre-season, Heathcote recognises it will be a tough battle with the international superstars.

He said: “Everyone is going to be itching to play by then. It’s exciting to be up against so many fantastic players.

“A few of them have only just left European champions Toulon so it’ll be a big test but one we can all learn a great deal from.”

And with the season opener against Northampton Saints on Friday 16 October, the stand-off is relishing the opportunity to be back in the top-flight of English rugby.

He added: “Once the pre-season games start we’ll be getting into the thick of it and building up to the start of the Premiership season. 

“That’s why we’re here. We want to be playing against the top teams. Saints finished top in the regular season last year and they were the ones to beat. 

“At home on a Friday night it’ll be a really special occasion here and I’m looking forward to it.

“Hopefully all the pre-season work will pay off and we can start with a bang.”