Press Conference Notes 14.11.17

Gary Gold previews Saturday’s game with Northampton Saints

Director of Rugby Gary Gold is back at Sixways and hosted a press conference on Tuesday afternoon ahead of Saturday’s Aviva Premiership clash with Northampton Saints at Sixways (kick-off 1pm).

Here’s what he had to say:

  • The Anglo-Welsh Cup has provided the opportunity for youngsters to step up to the plate of which a number of players have.
  • Northampton Saints have strength and depth and will be a physical, abrasive team.
  • The passionate Sixways crowd can make all the difference by seeing us through in tight games.
  • We have a great situation in that there are a lot of players in the back three who are performing well and competing for places. Long may it continue as it drives standards.
  • Francois Hougaard and Ryan Mills could be fit for Saturday’s game. They have been training.
  • Jonny Arr will be out for 12 weeks due to a concussion injury sustained against Harlequins.
  • Tom Heathcote is having a specialist review in four weeks’ time for his concussion injury.
  • Tom Howe is out for 2-3 weeks with a fractured finger.
  • Kurt Haupt is out with concussion. Return date to be confirmed.
  • Matti Williams is back in training while GJ van Velze is fit to play.
  • Alan Solomons was brought in to help out and to make sure other coaches’ roles weren’t disrupted while Gary was away. It was even more important he came in after our difficult start to the season and Gary being away due to family commitments.
  • Gary has held positive talks with players with regards recruitment and retention of players.
  • Gary said there would be stages later in the season where he would have to be away but stressed that it was important that there was no disruption to the coaching set-up, and that Alan Solomons would continue to provide support.
  • Gary confirmed he had been doing a bit of travelling in South Africa and searching for players who might be looking for opportunities in the UK at Worcester Warriors.

Donncha O’Callaghan also spoke to the media following his trip to Sierra Leone with UNICEF, playing for the Barbarians last week and looking forward to Saturday’s game.

Here’s what he had to say:

  • Consistent performances are key.
  • We have a brilliant crop of youngsters coming through.
  • Northampton will provide a tough, attritional battle. It will be forward-confrontational while they also have some quality backs.
  • “I’m out of contract in May but if May 5th was my last game of rugby I’d be sad. My numbers are still good and I still love it but I have to get the balance right and my priorities. My family are very important to me.”
  • The Barbarians was a lot of fun. It’s a beautiful tradition. It’s going back to the bare bones of rugby. It’s like a retreat for rugby players!
  • UNICEF are doing some brilliant work in Sierra Leone which has gone through a civil war and more recently landslides which have ruined peoples’ lives. The work the charity is doing is fantastic in helping to rebuild the lives of those affected.