Press Notes 14.05.19

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership season finale against Saracens at Sixways.
Here’s what Alan had to say:

On facing Saracens a week after they won the European Champions Cup.

  • They are a fantastic side and they have established themselves as the best in Europe, there’s no doubt about that.
  • I thought their defence against Leinster was incredible and the way they managed the game was terrific.
  • They also won the Premiership Rugby Shield on Monday so they have got fantastic strength in depth and they are a really powerful club.

A number of players will be saying farewell on Saturday how important is it to give them a good send-off?

  • It’s a big occasion, it’s the last game of the season and, as happens in professional sport, some players will be moving on during the summer.
  • We need to perform well and we want to end the season on the right note. We want to put right the game at Northampton and we want to go into the off season with a good performance under our belt against quality opposition.

It’s the end of an era for Jonny Arr who has played all his rugby here.

  • There is strong likelihood that Jonny will feature against Saracens.He has been a terrific servant for the club. He’s played more than 200 games for Warriors.
  • He came to professional rugby straight from school and he has played all his career here. He’s been here when things have gone well and at times when things perhaps have not gone quite so well.
  • He’s a good club man and he’s given a lot to Warriors. He’s a good human being, very easy to work with and he’s a good professional.

Will it be an emotional day for Wynand Olivier who will retire after Saturday.

  • Wynand draws the curtain on a stellar career. He has won a World Cup, he’s won Super Rugby titles, he’s played all over the world, he’s played for the Barbarians and all that is coming to an end.
  • For all the players leaving it is an emotional time.
  • Let me assure you that we will do things properly on Saturday for every player who is leaving us.

Bryce Heem will miss out on Saturday but how would you assess his contribution in his time with Warriors?

  • I’m saddened and Bryce is saddened that he won’t be playing on Saturday. But he has been fantastic.
  • He’s a class rugby player who has got X-Factor.

How do you assess the progress the club has made this season?

  • We have made good progress but that a massive work-on for us is our consistency. We have not been consistent enough.
  • Our progress is shown in the fact that we have won more matches and have more points than last season.

Injuries

  • Francois Venter is 100 per cent clear.
  • Hoping that Perry Humphreys, Nick Schonert and Gareth Milasinovich, who failed a HIA in the second half at Northampton, will be OK.