Head Coach Jonathan Thomas spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match at Harlequins.
Here’s what Jonathan had to say:
What have the players been doing since the Northampton Saints match?
- Everyone had a week off which was required under the player welfare protocols.
- We came back last week, had a training match at Bristol on Saturday which was very useful and very enjoyable and now we are focusing on this weekend’s match.
Has confidence been affected by recent results?
- It’s always a challenge when you are losing. We all want to win and we are all competitive people which is why we are in this industry.
- But I cannot speak highly enough of the group – players and staff – for the hard work that they have been putting in. In these difficult times you have to be tight as a group if you are going to come through.
- We have a lot of guys who are off contract at the end of the season and who will be leaving the club. It’s easy in that situation to down tools but that has not been the case. The players also want to make sure that those who are leaving us go on the right note.
- The players care a lot about the club and they care a lot about each other. The guys have been extremely professional and everyone is doing their best for the team.
- We have a saying that you never lose, you either win or you learn. You learn a lot about people in adversity – in life as well as in sport.
- It’s easy to be a good human being when things are going well but you find out about the true character of people in adversity.
What challenges are Harlequins likely to pose?
- They had a change of coach earlier this year and since then they have had a spike in confidence and some good results.
- They have got some very good athletes and they, like every Premiership side, will be powerful and physical opponents.
Are you still recruiting players for next season?
- We are almost done. I am really happy with the squad that we are going to have for next season.
- We always knew that this was going to be a challenging year but we have a very clear long-term strategy for the club.
- We are in a rebuilding phase but we have recruited really well and we are very optimistic about our future.
Three Warriors players are now on loan at Jersey Reds is there a special relationship developing there?
- No, we have good links with a number of Greene King IPA Championship clubs so we are not singling one club out in particular.
- Alan Solomons knows Harvey Biljon, Jersey’s Head Coach well. Scott van Breda played for Jersey before he joined us so there was already a link there and Matti Williams and James Scott have gone there because Jersey were a little light in those areas.
- But we have players on loan or dual registrations at Coventry and Hartpury and, with no Premiership Rugby Cup or Shield this season, it’s an opportunity for players to get some valuable game time.
- Sam Lewis is back in training but he is unlikely to be fit for this weekend. He may come into contention against Sale.
- Duncan Weir is probably a couple of weeks away.
- Perry Humphreys picked up a rib injury against Northampton and we will assess him on Thursday.
- Tom Howe took a knock to a hip in the training match at Bristol.
- Nick David is out for a little while because of a shoulder injury.
- Anton Bresler is fit again.
- Matt Moulds is in contention this weekend. He’s had a really tough year because of a foot injury and he hasn’t played since I came back to the club.