Warriors Women prop Akina Gondwe says her side is making significant strides under Director of Rugby Jo Yapp as the Tyrrells Premier 15s campaign hits the midway point.

Warriors have picked up 10 points from their last four outings, and despite suffering defeat in their last outing at title-chasing Harlequins Women, Gondwe is positive going into 2020.

“Jo has brought a different mindset to the team since coming in and she has a lot of experience at the top level,” said the former England Under-20.

“We were in a tricky situation earlier in the season and our mentality had to change and that’s what she brought to the team.”

A hard-fought victory at home to Bristol at the turn of December coupled with a try bonus point at Loughborough Lightning and a clinical 10-try triumph over Firwood Waterloo has given Warriors a real shot in the arm. Their 38-10 defeat at table-toppers Quins on Saturday was full of positives too as Yapp’s side registered two unanswered second half tries to show they can really mix it with the big guns.

“It was always going to be hard coming down to Quins as they’re clearly a top team, but I thought we put in a performance that we could be proud of,” said Gondwe.

“We played with heart and passion, particularly in the second half and to score two tries and keep them out was a good sign for us. That’s something we can certainly be proud of.”

Warriors welcome Richmond Women to Sixways on Saturday January 11 (kick-off 5.30pm) in the Tyrrells Premier 15s, the crucial clash part of a double-header for the club. Gondwe and her teammates will take to the field following the conclusion of the men’s European Rugby Challenge Cup fixture against Enisei-STM.

“The double-header is a great way to get more people interested in women’s rugby and it sends a big message to opposition teams across the league that Worcester are really investing in the women’s team,” added the former Beckenham RFC junior.

“The Richmond game is huge for us and if we can come away with four or five points, that would be an excellent day for the club.

“We want to keep the hashtag fortress Sixways going and we’re excited. The whole club has put a lot of belief behind us and they want us to succeed, and because of that we are desperate to succeed too.”