Press Conference Notes 11.02.20

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

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On the Wasps match

  • I spent plenty of time to review the game carefully.
  • A key factor was the penalties we gave away in the second half. We gave away seven penalties in that half and six of them had consequences for us.
  • We were 13-5 up at half-time but we then gave away two double penalties in the first ten minutes of the second half which Wasps kicked to make it 13-11.
  • The final penalty count was only 11-9 against us but it was the big consequences of a number of those penalties that cost us.

Were the players ready for a break?

  • Yes, not only physically but also mentally. We have been going for 19 weeks on the trot now from the Premiership Rugby Cup, into the Premiership and then the European Challenge Cup.
  • Everyone is mentally and physically fatigued so we gave everyone a ten-day break.
  • We came back last Thursday and had a tough session on Friday; the boys have practised well.

On facing Bath

  • It’s going to be another tough game. The weather forecast suggests that conditions are not going to be the best.
  • Bath are a big old side and it’s going to be a very physical contest.
  • They are a well-balanced team but they do have a pretty big pack.

On Ted Hill, Cornell du Preez and Duncan Weir’s involvement in Six Nations squads

  • I am disappointed that they have not got the game time but it’s always a positive to train with an international team and it’s good that they are part of the set up.
  • I know that Ted’s time will come with England. Cornell has been playing well and it was disappointing that he missed out with Scotland against England but you can understand the thinking with Magnus Bradbury coming back at number eight and Adam Hastings has been going well at fly-half for them.

Injuries

  • Melani Nanai is out for the season. We decided it better for him to have an operation on his shoulder injury now so that we can rehab him by the end of the season and have him back completely fresh and ready to go for next season.
  • Tom Howe has a calf injury. We initially thought he would be out for around eight weeks but his latest scans are more encouraging and we hope that he will only be out for between four and six weeks.
  • Dean Hammond should be ready to play again around mid-March.
  • Noah Heward took a blow playing for London Scottish on registration last week and so he has to be stood down for 13 days.
  • Andrew Kitchener is fit and should be fine for this weekend.
  • Francois Hougaard is fine and should be ready to go this weekend.
  • Justin Clegg still has some bone bruising on a knee and is two to three weeks away.