Warriors back row Marco Mama has hailed the Club’s backroom staff after they helped him return to full fitness.
The powerful forward suffered a frustrating ACL injury in pre-season and was expected to miss the whole of the 2017/18 campaign.
But with plenty of hard work behind the scenes, the Zimbabwean returned ahead of schedule to play a key role in Warriors’ final four Premiership games of the season.
He said: “It’s a credit to our backroom staff that a player can be out for eight months and come back and be able to perform ahead of schedule. There was a lot of work that went on with rehabilitation and managing my workload.
“It was great for me to be able to come back before expected and to then complete the season and be able to say that my knee is good after playing for 80 minutes on it.
“And a lot of that is down to our medical and strength and conditioning guys who have helped get me back to where I am.
“From a personal point of view, it was nice to be back and prove myself but now it’s about building next season.”
The players and coaches have gone on a five-week break and will return in June ahead of a tough pre-season as Alan Solomons’ side look to get in the best shape possible for the 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership campaign.
And Mama insists he and his fellow Warriors are looking forward to meeting new players and coaches ahead of the new season.
He explained: “We’re all looking forward to this break, resting up and then getting back to meet the new coaches and training and preparing well ahead of the new campaign. We want to start the season much better than we did last time out.
“We know Solly and we know he’s here for the next couple of years and that makes a big difference. Then we’re going to have some new energy coming in with a new Head Coach (Rory Duncan) and Attack & Backs Coach (Neil Doak), possibly with a bit of a different focus, which a lot of the guys are looking forward to.”
Warriors enjoyed some memorable moments in the 2017/18 campaign with unforgettable away wins at Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs, while also marking Donncha O’Callaghan’s final professional game alongside Chris Pennell’s 200th appearance with a 44-13 win over Harlequins.
And Mama is hoping his side can pick up more results and push on up the table in 2018/19.
He added: “We’ve had some pretty big highs and lows throughout the season, with some great wins away from home but the passion we showed was fantastic and we all have some great memories.
“We’ll remember Tigers away, Chiefs away and Quins at home where we blew them away. There were some parts of the season which we’ll really look back on with fondness and hopefully we’ll have a lot more next season as we want to be much higher up that table.
“For us now it’s all about performing well consistently.”