By Art de Roché
After three away trips to start the Tyrrells Premier 15s campaign, Worcester Valkyries Director of Rugby Roy Davies believes real progression has been made this season.
Valkyries have had a tough start to the season, with four defeats to their name. But performances have been much-improved from last season and Davies’ side are up and running after securing two bonus points.
Encouragingly, in games against two of last year’s top four – Saracens Women and Wasps Ladies – Valkyries kept them at bay for long spells.
Davies said: “I know the players have got ability – our challenge before has been experience. But I’d like to get to a point where we stop talking about how young they are and talk about how good they are, otherwise we’ll be doing them a disservice.
“Last year the players were 17 and 18-years-old. But those same players now each have more than 18 games of Premiership rugby under their belts which is progression in itself.”
Davies has also spoken about changing the mentality at the Club and how the more senior players have helped.
He continued: “Lark Davies, in terms of the way she leads, has been fantastic – I can’t speak highly enough of her.
“We’ve also got more Premiership experience with Lydia Thompson and Laura Keates returning. They haven’t played much rugby yet but that leadership around the place has been really good.”
Thompson and Keates have been training with England Women ahead of next month’s three-match Quilter International series.
The series will see England play USA at Allianz Park on November 9 and Canada at Castle Park in Doncaster on November 18 before they close at Twickenham on November 24 against Ireland.
As for Valkyries, their next fixture sees them welcoming Harlequins Ladies to Sixways this Saturday (kick-off 2pm).
Davies added: “I think everyone that’s come into the environment this year has stepped it up that little bit.
“But it’s not enough for us just to compete – we’ve got to take that to the next level in order to win games.”
Tickets for Saturday’s Valkyries match are available on the day of the game. They are free for Season Ticket holders and Juniors and priced at £7.50 for Adults.