Press Conference Notes 26.02.20

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

Here’s what Alan had to say:

On Ryan Mills’ future at the club

  • Ryan and I have had good discussions, we have a good relationship. Ryan is a fantastic bloke, a terrific player and his contribution to Warriors has been immense over a number of years,.
  • He is reaching a point in his career where he wants to have experience and a different challenge.
  • As a club we are reaching a point in our development where we have seen Ollie Lawrence come through in the midfield, we also have Will Butler and Alex Hearle who are good young centres, we have two experienced international centres in Ashley Beck and Francois Venter and we also have Scott van Breda who can also play there.
  • Ryan wants to see what is out there and we have mutually agreed that he can do that and we will see what that brings.

On Joe Taufete’e joining Lyon

  • We have got two really good young hookers coming through in Beck Cutting from the Academy and Isaac Miller.
  • Matt Moulds has been captaining the side and Niall Annett is an outstanding all-round hooker.
  • Joe has given great service to the club, he’s a terrific bloke, he’s a good team man, I’ve really enjoyed working with him and I think he’s going to do fantastically in the Top 14.

On the Bristol match

  • We put in an immense defensive shift and made almost 300 tackles.
  • We had some really good opportunities that we didn’t close out. One or two were clear opportunities that should have been taken. In any tight game where you get opportunities you need to take them.
  • I also thought the penalty count against us was too high – 14-4. That made an enormous difference.
  • The defensive effort merited more than a losing bonus point.

Is the penalty count a concern?

  • There is a protocol with the RFU which we are going through. There will be some penalties naturally that we query and discuss.
  • It’s not just the penalties we give away. You have to look at the other side and penalties that were perhaps not given that you need to have a close look at.
  • Consistency there is the key.
  • We can control certain things like the situation where we have a clear opportunity to score and we don’t take that opportunity and we don’t and where we give away soft penalties.Where the margins are fine like they were at the weekend it’s soft moments that end up costing you.
  • There have been too many soft moments and we need to overcome that. The only way we will do that is by pointing them out, by applying ourselves to that and saying this is not acceptable and by looking at it in terms of our practises as well.

Injuries

  • Ashley Beck suffered a ‘stinger’ on Sunday. It’s not as bad as we first feared and hopefully he will only miss this weekend.
  • Tom Howe is making good progress from his calf injury. He trained today and it’s possible he will come into contention this weekend.
  • Francois Venter has undergone surgery to repair the ligament damage to a thumb.
  • GJ van Velze has tweaked a calf muscle but he’s fine now.
  • Callum Black will hopefully be back for the next block of Premiership matches.

On facing Leicester

  • They are one of the great clubs, not just in England, but in the world.
  • They will be missing their international players but they are still a very good side.
  • Results against them in the past have no relevance to what happens on Saturday.