Press Conference Notes 06.07.18

Press Conference Notes

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the press this afternoon following today’s Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixture announcement.

Here’s what he had to say:

Pre-season

  • I’m very happy with the progress we’ve made. We’re into our third week now. Training has been ramped up every week.
  • We’re looking forward to our camp in Valencia, Spain on Sunday. It’ll be another tough week.
  • We always have the rugby balls out immediately. You’ve normally got one shot at your conditioning and that’s usually the opening six weeks of pre-season. After that you’re pretty much into playing.
  • When we return after the camp we’ll start moving that balance a bit more towards the rugby and after a couple of weeks we’ll be preparing for our pre-season games.
  • The players have been pretty good. They all received off-season programmes except those that were rehabbing.
    What I’ve really been pleased about is the effort that’s been put in. The conditions are pretty warm and everyone is giving their all.

Spain

  • It’s important. We’ve got some new players and some new staff and it’s ideal for us to have a good, hard camp.
    I think the lads will enjoy it but it’ll be a tough camp.
  • On the Wednesday they will be off and there will be an opportunity for bonding and there will be some team work on the Tuesday afternoon.

Injuries

  • Bryce Heem had a procedure on his quad last week which went well. He should be back for the start of the season.
  • Ben Te’o should also be back for the beginning of the season as he continues his recovery.

Farai Mudariki

  • Former Warrior James Percival (working in France) contacted me and said Farai’s a really good young player with potential. His opinion is highly-valued. It was off the back of that recommendation and then we obviously had a look at clips of him and Mefin Davies looked at his scrummaging and we were impressed.
  • He has a good background and went to a good rugby school down in South Africa.
  • He’s a lovely guy, knows Marco Mama and has already had a look around Sixways.
  • He plays his last Test of the summer for Zimbabwe this weekend and he’ll be coming over soon after.
  • We have to give him a fair opportunity.┬áHe hasn’t been exposed to the level of Premiership Rugby but James’ recommendation was so strong that anything could happen.

The background of a player

  • This is very important to me. I always want to look at the man before his competency.

Josh Adams

  • He’s a terrific player and I’m glad he got to play in Argentina. THAT try was some try!
  • He’s been given five weeks or so off and he’ll be back at the end of July. We look forward to welcoming him back.

Jack Singleton

  • I’m delighted he got selected, it was just a shame he didn’t get a Test. He did splendidly in the Barbarians game.
  • He’ll also join us at the end of the month and both he and Josh will get a pre-season when they get back.

Joe Taufete’e

  • He’s a terrific person and rugby player.
  • His family are all settled in Worcester and that’s going to help lots.
  • He’s in good shape and he joins us for the camp in Spain. We’ll bleed him in.
  • These players need proper time off and a proper pre-season.

Matti Williams

  • Loose forward is an attritional position and it’s an opportunity for Matti and to see how he tracks.
  • He is versatile and the ability to play hooker is useful but this is a chance to play what’s probably his preferred position (flanker).

Justin Clegg

  • He’s been studying and hasn’t had the opportunity to be in a full-time professional environment yet.
  • This will be his first season full-time, he’s excited and I think he’ll be a really good player.

Zac Xiourouppa

  • He’s been unlucky with injuries in recent seasons.
  • He has potential and at the moment he’s out playing in New Zealand with Nick Rigby (Academy prop).
  • Hopefully he comes through unscathed and he can enjoy a season without injury.
  • It’s a great opportunity for him out there in Wellington and he should be back in August.

Ollie Lawrence and Ted Hill

  • The integration with the Academy is absolutely critical to building a top-six sustainable club.
  • Ollie is coming to camp this week and Ted Hill will also be coming.
  • Ollie is likely to get more first-team exposure next season. Centre is an attritional position and there are a lot of games and with all the competitions, all the lads are going to be playing.
  • I think the biggest thing Ollie learned on England duty this summer was what it takes to be a professional. Ben Te’o said he handled himself really well.
  • Ollie is a good young boy and a fine rugby player.

Luke Baldwin

  • He is back and enjoying training. He is a livewire and a great bloke to have in the squad.

Jono Lance

  • Due to come back at start of August when Super Rugby has finished.

Premiership fixtures

  • There’s no easy game and we know that.
  • We know we have to give it our best and our season is about consistent performances week in week out and our pre-season is important to that.
  • It’s nice to start at home and I’m sure it’ll be a great test.
  • We want a good start. It’s the consistency that was lacking and that’s our big focus and everything else will flow from there.

Birmingham Moseley partnership

  • We are talking to Birmingham Moseley about a possible practice match in late August.
  • I speak closely with former Warriors coach Simon Cross and we’re looking to arrange something.
  • We’ve got some of their lads training with us – Lewis Bean (lock) and James Williams (fly-half) and they will keep training with us before they go back to Moseley.
  • We might see them play for Worcester Cavaliers this season.