Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s European Challenge Cup match at Castres.
Here’s what Alan had to say:
On the win against Enisei-STM in Russia
- It was a long trip but everything went smoothly and we were well looked after.
- There were eight members of the Three Pears Warriors Academy in the 23 and another six who have come through the Academy.
- The boys played really well and managed the game well. We applied pressure throughout the game and although they scored a couple of tries in the second half we finished strongly.
On facing Castres
- They didn’t put out their strongest team against Dragons last weekend but I would expect them to do so on Saturday.
- If you look at their form in the Top 14, Castres are very strong at home. They fiercely protect their home ground so it’s going to be a very tough game.
What sort of side are you likely to take to France
- The Enisei trip was tough. We left the hotel in Krasnodar at 2.30 on Saturday morning and went to the airport for a 5.30am flight to Moscow and we didn’t get back to Sixways until 3pm on Saturday. Everyone is feeling the effects this week.
- This week we will leave Sixways on Thursday evening and stay overnight at Heathrow because we have an early flight on Friday and we don’t get back until Sunday.
- So we will have had back-to-back heavy trips and we will rotate the squad.
Will Ryan Mills make his 100th appearance for the club in Castres?
- Yes he will. Ryan has been a fantastic servant of the club and integral part of it for some time now. He’s an extremely talented player and to play 100 games for the club is a wonderful achievement.
- Jamie Shillcock will also be in the squad and will be in line to make his 50th appearance for the club which is another notable landmark.
- Matti Williams suffered an abductor muscle injury in Russia and he will need to have that scanned.
- Dean Hammond suffered a foot injury. He’s been for scans and we are awaiting the results.
- Chris Pennell has taken a full part in training this week and he will be available for selection this weekend.
- Duncan Weir has also trained fully this week and is available for selection.
- Francois Hougaard has recovered from his shoulder injury and is available for selection.
- Nick Schonert has recovered from his knee injury and is available for selection.