Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the press today. Here’s what he had to say:
- It was a disappointing day and we played poorly.
- We didn’t react well to turnovers and five of their eight tries came from turnovers.
- We weren’t up to the levels required physically and it was a bad day at the office.
- Newcastle will be another tough test. They are similar to Sale in many ways.
- It is an opportunity to put things right and we have got to be better. We need a good performance.
- We needed a suitable replacement with Will Spencer leaving at the end of the season and we were very fortunate to get Michael. I’m delighted he’ll be joining the Club.
- There are many players from New Zealand that move to play in the Northern Hemisphere and I’m sure he looks at it as a big challenge.
- He won’t be here till after the Mitre 10 Cup which finishes around October, but that’s often the case with players signed from New Zealand and South Africa – they have to finish their Mitre 10 Cup or Currie Cup seasons first and it’s something I’ve been through many times before.
- Michael’s a really good player and we’re looking forward to having him here.
Second row options
- Andrew Kitchener played well when he came on for 20 minutes last weekend.
- We’ve got some really good talent coming through we’ve got Kitch, Justin Clegg and James Scott.
- There is good competition for places with Donncha O’Callaghan and Pierce Phillips is back and looked good in the A League game last weekend.
- Anton Bresler did a good job coming off the bench in some games but he’s out of the mix at the moment with a calf injury.
Squad for 2018/19 season
- We’ve got strength in depth for next season but there are a few little t’s to cross and i’s to dot.
- It’ll all be wrapped up by the end of the season.
- Francois Hougaard has been struggling with an ankle injury and hasn’t trained as he’s still in rehab. It’s a bit early to say whether he’ll be fit for next week’s game.
- Chris Pennell is back in full training after a head knock which forced him to miss the last game.
- Sam Lewis should be back for next week’s match.
- Anton Bresler (calf) isn’t 100 per cent yet so we’ll see how he goes.
- Marco Mama got through 25 scheduled minutes for the Cavaliers on Sunday and he’s back in the mix for selection. He’s a very good player and a dynamic, explosive athlete.
- Tom Heathcote has been out for a long time with concussion but should be back soon.
Dorian Jones and Grayson Hart
- Grayson will know our defensive systems well having worked with Omar Mouneimne while he is an experienced player who will adjust well to our attacking requirements.
- We have been a little thin at ten. Dorian became available and it was sensible to take him on.
- Both have slotted in and have got good experience. You need that to provide cover.
- Both players should be playing in the Premiership Rugby A League match on Monday night.
Francois Hougaard’s new contract
- Francois’ re-signing is fantastic for the Club.
- He’s had a difficult season with injury but he has been a tremendous player for the Club.