Hammond – Time to take my chance

Winger Dean Hammond admits it’s time for him to take his chance for Warriors ahead of this Saturday’s clash with Zebre Rugby in the European Challenge Cup (kick-off 2pm).

The young South African has been playing on loan for Championship side Nottingham Rugby at the start of this season but has been recalled to showcase his talents for Warriors in Europe. 

He said: “It’s good at this time of the season to get regular game-time under the belt and I’m thankful for the opportunity Nottingham have given me as things have gone well. 

“There’s a big competitive environment here at Warriors with everyone fighting for positions and it’s important that if you’re not in the first-team then you can go away and get an opportunity to play rugby elsewhere. 

“I’m always giving my all on and off the pitch and I’m always fully prepared. Now I have to take my chance and grab it with both hands.”

Warriors comfortably saw-off France’s La Rochelle 19-3 last weekend but Hammond is expecting a different test this Saturday in Italy.

He explained: “We know Zebre are a tough team to play especially in Italy, and we’ve analysed them. 

“It won’t be an easy challenge. They like to run the ball but have a very hard defence so we have to be up for it.

“If we’re on a similar page to where we were last weekend we’ll back ourselves to get the win.

“It’s always good to go around Europe and play different teams as they all have different styles.”

With competition rife in the Warriors ranks, Hammond has to compete for places with the likes of Bryce Heem, Tom Biggs, Cooper Vuna and Sam Smith.

But he insists it’s an ideal situation for any club.

He added: “Everyone wants to be out there playing and you back your own ability. It’s a really healthy environment at Warriors. 

“You’ve got guys starting and people nipping at their heels and it brings the best out of everyone. 

“We’re all mates and get on well off the pitch but on the day and in training it’s about the team and your ability to motivate yourself to play well and help out.”