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Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
A38 (IP Logged)
06 July, 2018 22:09

Here are the first Notes for the coming season:-

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the press this afternoon (6 July 2018) following today’s Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixture announcement.

Here’s what he had to say:

I’m very happy with the progress we’ve made. We’re into our third week now. Training has been ramped up every week.
We’re looking forward to our camp in Valencia, Spain on Sunday. It’ll be another tough week.
We always have the rugby balls out immediately. You’ve normally got one shot at your conditioning and that’s usually the opening six weeks of pre-season. After that you’re pretty much into playing.
When we return after the camp we’ll start moving that balance a bit more towards the rugby and after a couple of weeks we’ll be preparing for our pre-season games.
The players have been pretty good. They all received off-season programmes except those that were rehabbing.
What I’ve really been pleased about is the effort that’s been put in. The conditions are pretty warm and everyone is giving their all.

It’s important. We’ve got some new players and some new staff and it’s ideal for us to have a good, hard camp.
I think the lads will enjoy it but it’ll be a tough camp.
On the Wednesday they will be off and there will be an opportunity for bonding and there will be some team work on the Tuesday afternoon.

Bryce Heem had a procedure on his quad last week which went well. He should be back for the start of the season.
Ben Te’o should also be back for the beginning of the season as he continues his recovery.

Farai Mudariki
Former Warrior James Percival (working in France) contacted me and said Farai’s a really good young player with potential. His opinion is highly-valued. It was off the back of that recommendation and then we obviously had a look at clips of him and Mefin Davies looked at his scrummaging and we were impressed.
He has a good background and went to a good rugby school down in South Africa.
He’s a lovely guy, knows Marco Mama and has already had a look around Sixways.
He plays his last Test of the summer for Zimbabwe this weekend and he’ll be coming over soon after.
We have to give him a fair opportunity. He hasn’t been exposed to the level of Premiership Rugby but James’ recommendation was so strong that anything could happen.

The background of a player
This is very important to me. I always want to look at the man before his competency.

Josh Adams
He’s a terrific player and I’m glad he got to play in Argentina. THAT try was some try!
He’s been given five weeks or so off and he’ll be back at the end of July. We look forward to welcoming him back.

Jack Singleton
I’m delighted he got selected, it was just a shame he didn’t get a Test. He did splendidly in the Barbarians game.
He’ll also join us at the end of the month and both he and Josh will get a pre-season when they get back.

Joe Taufete’e
He’s a terrific person and rugby player.
His family are all settled in Worcester and that’s going to help lots.
He’s in good shape and he joins us for the camp in Spain. We’ll bleed him in.
These players need proper time off and a proper pre-season.

Matti Williams
Loose forward is an attritional position and it’s an opportunity for Matti and to see how he tracks.
He is versatile and the ability to play hooker is useful but this is a chance to play what’s probably his preferred position (flanker).

Justin Clegg
He’s been studying and hasn’t had the opportunity to be in a full-time professional environment yet.
This will be his first season full-time, he’s excited and I think he’ll be a really good player.

Zac Xiourouppa
He’s been unlucky with injuries in recent seasons.
He has potential and at the moment he’s out playing in New Zealand with Nick Rigby (Academy prop).
Hopefully he comes through unscathed and he can enjoy a season without injury.
It’s a great opportunity for him out there in Wellington and he should be back in August.

Ollie Lawrence and Ted Hill
The integration with the Academy is absolutely critical to building a top-six sustainable club.
Ollie is coming to camp this week and Ted Hill will also be coming.
Ollie is likely to get more first-team exposure next season. Centre is an attritional position and there are a lot of games and with all the competitions, all the lads are going to be playing.
I think the biggest thing Ollie learned on England duty this summer was what it takes to be a professional. Ben Te’o said he handled himself really well.
Ollie is a good young boy and a fine rugby player.

Luke Baldwin

He is back and enjoying training. He is a livewire and a great bloke to have in the squad.

Jono Lance
Due to come back at start of August when Super Rugby has finished.

Premiership fixtures
There’s no easy game and we know that.
We know we have to give it our best and our season is about consistent performances week in week out and our pre-season is important to that.
It’s nice to start at home and I’m sure it’ll be a great test.
We want a good start. It’s the consistency that was lacking and that’s our big focus and everything else will flow from there.

Birmingham Moseley partnership
We are talking to Birmingham Moseley about a possible practice match in late August.
I speak closely with former Warriors coach Simon Cross and we’re looking to arrange something.
We’ve got some of their lads training with us – Lewis Bean (lock) and James Williams (fly-half) and they will keep training with us before they go back to Moseley.
We might see them play for Worcester Cavaliers this season.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2018 22:14 by A38.

Brummagem Bertie
Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
Brummagem Bertie (IP Logged)
07 July, 2018 11:14
Some interesting snippets in there.

Good to see that we are making use of our ex-players in spotting talent. In similar vein, it's good to see that we seemed to part with Simon Cross on good enough terms that we look like we might establish a good relationship with Mose that will benefit both our clubs.

Pleased also to see how they are exposing the likes of Ollie and Ted to the fist team environment and the positive feedback Ollie has had from his England training camp.

It will be interesting to see how young Clegg goes now he's full time and how much he can kick on. He has a chance this season to catch up with or even leapfrog Kitch.

Finally, pleased to see good news so far on the injury front.

Whatever you do, do it safely!

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
TeflonTed (IP Logged)
07 July, 2018 15:00
I think we should rename July as “Optimism Month”.

I recall last year we were mostly positive, and discussing whether “comfortable mid table” was an achievable target than the more realistic “safe 8th/9th”.

Well, we all learned the error of our ways didn’t we.

All the indicators are that this season the changes in management, along with excellent recruitment, make this discussion worthy of repeat.

The caution being, as others have mentioned, that we are not the only premiership club taking positive actions over the pre-season.

My belief is that Bristol won’t settle as quickly as they’d like, despite impressive recruitment, and that both Quins and Saints have difficulties that will take some time to turn around.

My pre-season feeling is that we’re looking at 8th best, 9th most likely, 10th a disappointment.

Diarised!, I’ll remind myself, and either gloat or keep schtum as appropriate.

usa warrior
Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
usa warrior (IP Logged)
08 July, 2018 07:48
That sounds a pretty fair assessment Ted.

As with Quins last year though, there's often a team who underperforms quite significantly. Interesting to see if that hits someone who should be mid-table or above.

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
TeflonTed (IP Logged)
08 July, 2018 09:40
My sleeper for a surprise slump would be Bath.

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
BrumBrum (IP Logged)
08 July, 2018 09:56
Always hard to predict & like/laugh at the idea of 'July as optimistic month' - too true.
It was about this time last year we started hearing about injuries, both long & short. With the short always becoming longer & more serious.
We also started to get snippets that all was not well behind the scenes.
Doesn't seem to be the case this year....yet.

As implied above, as we develop & improve so do others.
Think Bristol could do better than most assume. Not due to the money spent & players recruited, but due to a certain Mr Lam who seems to get extraordinarily performances out of ordinary players in short time periods. Think back to BaaBaas & England.
The key improvement this year should be in 10, Weir is good as is Lance. If we have Hooguard fit & firing, we will do well.

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
Wolftownwarrior (IP Logged)
08 July, 2018 23:41

I recall last year we were mostly positive, and discussing whether “comfortable mid table” was an achievable target than the more realistic “safe 8th/9th”.

But this season we have two really good 10’s for the first time in a long time!

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
Fiver (IP Logged)
09 July, 2018 07:49

I recall last year we were mostly positive, and discussing whether “comfortable mid table” was an achievable target than the more realistic “safe 8th/9th”.

But this season we have two really good 10’s for the first time in a long time!

I'm struggling to think of when we last had 2 really good 10s.

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
Faithful_City (IP Logged)
09 July, 2018 10:20
Brown and Drahm, maybe?


Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
Patgadd (IP Logged)
09 July, 2018 11:22
Don't forget Jamie; we have three good 10s.

usa warrior
Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
usa warrior (IP Logged)
09 July, 2018 11:27
And Mills at a push.

Not doing badly there.

Brummagem Bertie
Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
Brummagem Bertie (IP Logged)
09 July, 2018 16:27
Brown and Drahm, maybe?

That's only one really good 10, JP, and James Brown.

Whatever you do, do it safely!

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
Sheldon (IP Logged)
10 July, 2018 13:07
In my view we have only ever had two good tens. Drahm and Goode. I think the two we have now are marginally better but fantastic to have both at the same time!

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
shrewsburyman (IP Logged)
11 July, 2018 17:16
Yes Sheldon up to now those were our only two number 10’s

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