Warriors back row forward Matt Cox rarely displays fear on the rugby pitch but that was not the case when he was tackled by a police dog recently.
Warriors’ players made the short trip from Sixways to West Mercia Police headquarters at Hindlip Hall on an educational visit as part of ongoing links between the rugby club and police dog unit.
The players watched police dogs being trained during which Cox and his team-mate Marco Mama volunteered to play the role escaping ‘criminals’ in stick attack scenarios. Cox was chased down by Police Dog Sykes who bit and gripped the protective armguard he was wearing until the dog handler arrived.
Cox said: “It was great to see what they do. It was impressive to see how well disciplined the dogs are.
“It’s quite intimidating to be bitten, the dogs have a snap on them and when the dog is running at you it is pretty scary.
“They have sniffer dogs, defence and search dogs and 12 different compounds for searching from drugs to money.
“As a rugby player it’s interesting to see the way they train. There are situations where they have to react under pressure and be put in situations where adapt.”
West Mercia Police use the facilities at Sixways for training police dogs and in return they host youngsters on the Warriors HITZ programme, part of Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme which works with over 2,000 14-18 year-olds across England every year.
“We have an excellent relationship with Warriors and Sixways is possibly our top live training venue where we carry out continuation training for our explosive search dogs helping them to sniff out drugs, firearms and cash,” said Sgt Ash Oliver of West Mercia Police Dogs Section.
“We also work closely with the Warriors Community Foundation and host visits for the youngsters so that they can see at first-hand the work that is done by police dogs.”