Press Conference Notes 21.01.20

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Wasps at Sixways (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the Castres European Challenge Cup match

  • At 27-12 we should win the game but there was a big momentum swing when we were penalised at the driving maul.
  • In the first half Castres tried to move the ball and hardly mauled at all. But once they realised that the driving maul was causing us some problems and they were getting some traction from it they used it well.
  • Europe was a mixed bag for us. We played well in parts but didn’t perform so well in others.

On Ted Hill’s England call-up

  • It’s fantastic news and fully deserved.  I hope that he makes it into the squad for the Six Nations Tests.
  • England have a powerful squad and Eddie Jones has some particularly tough decisions to make in the loose forwards.
  • But Ted was outstanding for us at the weekend. He’s an extremely level-headed, he’s a good team man who loves Warriors and who has grown up in Worcester.

On Warriors’ Three Pears Academy

  • Ted is a fantastic example. First that he’s been a regular here having come through the ranks from Worcester to England. It sends out a huge message when a young guy comes out of school and makes it to international rugby. We have some really good youngsters and it’s important to see that they are getting game time.
  • Our vision for the club is that we build it through the medium of the academy.
  • The important part is that the young players see it happening. Seeing Ted, Ollie Lawrence and Nick David making it into the first-team shows the younger guys the vision we have and I want them all to stay.

On Cornell du Preez’s Scotland recall

  • I’m not surprised at all. Cornell has played really well for us and put in some terrific performances.
  • He’s a Test Match rugby player who is tough as nails.

On the news that Saracens will be relegated at the end of the season

  • It doesn’t alter anything from our perspective. We want to finish as high as we can in the table.
  • The Premiership is competitive, full stop.
  • When I was involved in the Super 12 there was no promotion or relegation but you knew that if you were ten or 15 per cent you would ship 50 points.
  • The Premiership will be as competitive as ever.

What do you make of Wasps?

  • I have watched quite a few of their Premiership games and they have played really well at times.
  • They were unlucky to lose to Northampton but they won down at Bristol.
  • They have some quality players across the board and they like to play with tempo and put width and pace into the game.

Injuries

  • Callum Black will miss this match but we hope he might be back during the course of the next block of Premiership matches.
  • Niall Annett’s shoulder is still not right.
  • Conor Carey is out for the rest of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
  • Andrew Kitchener has taken bangs to his shoulder so he won’t be available this weekend.
  • Francois Hougaard has some fluid in a toe and won’t be considered for selection this week.
  • Melani Nanai is probably going to require surgery on his shoulder injury.
  • Ed Fidow pulled a hamstring playing for Cavaliers last night.
  • Justin Clegg is seeing a specialist about his knee injury but we hope he will be available when we return from our break.
  • Dean Hammond should be back playing between mid and late March.
  • Alex Hearle is making good progress and he could be back around late February.
  • Tom Howe trained today and should be fine for Saturday.
  • Joe Morris is unlikely to play again this season.
  • Farai Mudariki is close to coming back.
  • Oli Morris is on the verge of coming back but wasn’t quite ready to play for Cavaliers last night.
  • Michael Fatialofa’s condition shows some positive sign of improvement. We are hopeful that he will make a full recovery but he remains in intensive care in hospital in London.