Press Conference Notes 20.04.21

Head Coach Jonathan Thomas spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Sale Sharks at Sixways (kick-off 3.00pm).

Here’s what Jonathan had to say:

On the Harlequins performance

  • We knew beforehand that Quins are on top of their game at the moment and they have put that sort of scoreline on a number of opponents.
  • They like to keep the game unstructured so we knew that there would be points out there which was proved in the first ten minutes when four tries were scored.
  • But we defended as individuals which meant there were dog legs and disconnections in our defence and Quins punished us.
  • Although we fought to the end and got a try bonus point it was disappointing that we didn’t execute what we had talked about before.

Are you frustrated?

  • Yes, I am frustrated that we are not winning games and we are going through some pain at the moment but I am very positive about the direction that the club is heading in.
  • It’s difficult in the here and now but sometimes, to go forward, you have to take a step back.
  • The table doesn’t lie and the criticism we are getting at the moment is justified. At the moment we are not good enough but I know, that with the players we have signed and with the plans that we have in place, that we will not be in this position at the same time next year.
  • We are in a rebuilding phase, probably similar to where Leicester were when Steve Borthwick took over.

What do you want to see against Sale this weekend?

  • We need to show some old fashioned grit. The players owe it to the supporters, they owe it to each other and they owe it to the club to go out and put in a performance that everyone can be proud of.

On Nick David’s decision to join Harlequins

  • Nick is a smashing bloke and a very talented player who I have enjoyed working with.
  • He has a desire to play full-back and, with Mike Brown leaving, there is an opening at Quins. We could not guarantee Nick game time at full-back because we have Melani Nanai, who is a world-class player and a marquee player, and we also have Noah Heward, who has been unfortunate with a hamstring injury this season.
  • We are disappointed to lose Nick, as someone who has come through our Academy, but we understand his reasons. We have re-signed all our other young players.

On Matt Sherratt’s decision to join Cardiff Blues next season

  • I have really enjoyed working with Jockey. He’s a really good character someone I have got to know well over the past year. As rugby coaches we probably spend more time with each other than we do our families.
  • There are a few personal reasons for Matt’s decision but we wish him all the best.
  • He’s coached at Cardiff Blues before so he knows the club. He’s a good guy amd a good coach and we have to make sure that we have a good replacement for him.
  • The process of replacing Jockey is already underway. There has already been a lot of interest.

Injuries

  • Matt Moulds tweaked a hamstring in training last Thursday and he will be out of action for a couple of weeks. We are bitterly disappointed for Matt because we were looking forward to seeing him back on the pitch at Quins.
  • Sam Lewis is available for selection this week having recovered from shoulder surgery and it’s great to see him back.