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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 3 time(s). Last edit at 17/07/2018 07:08 by Powick Eastander.

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

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
A38 (IP Logged)
07 August, 2018 20:58

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Friday night’s pre-season clash with Benetton Rugby at Stadio di Monigo (kick-off 8.30pm local, 7.30pm BST).

Here’s what he had to say:

Benetton/team news
We’ll take 28 players to Italy and the aim is to get them all playing 40 minutes of rugby.
Benetton are a good, physical side.
The match will give us an idea of where we are.
Ben Te’o, Josh Adams and Jack Singleton won’t be involved.
Bryce Heem, Ethan Waller and Wynand Olivier are recovering well from operations and should hopefully be back for the start of the season.

Jono Lance
He only finished the Super Rugby season in July so he needed a couple of weeks off after that as he went there straight from his spell here at Sixways.
We are working with him separately now after he arrived at the start of August and getting him up to speed.
He will be integrated into the squad gradually and it’s a similar situation with the likes of Josh Adams and Jack Singleton who have been away this summer on international duty.
Jono is a very useful player who can play at 10, 12 and 15 – having played at 15 for some of the recent Super Rugby campaign.

Hartpury pre-season clash
We will hopefully look at Josh Adams and Jack Singleton for that match.

Birmingham Moseley potential fixture
I am in talks with Simon Cross at Moseley and we are hopeful of a game in a couple of weeks’ time.

The first block of Premiership games
The first block will allow opportunities for all fit players to show what they can do.
We have six Premiership games while there are four Premiership Rugby Shield games so there will be plenty of opportunities.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2018 21:00 by A38.

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
A38 (IP Logged)
28 August, 2018 17:29

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s first Gallagher Premiership match of the season at Sixways against Wasps (kick-off 3pm).

Here’s what he had to say:

It’s been a long one but this is what we’ve been working towards.
It was important to get everyone that was fit some game-time and there’ll be more opportunities in coming weeks with Warriors and Cavaliers matches.

They will be a big challenge. Every game this season in the Premiership will be a massive challenge.
There are no easy Saturday afternoons.
Wasps are a good side with some talented individuals so we know they’ll be a tough side to beat.
They have some players missing but they have plenty of strength in depth.
It’s important for us to focus on consistency of performance and the results will take care of themselves if we get the performance right.

Injury news
Isaac Miller is out with a fractured collarbone.
Scott van Breda has a shoulder problem and will be missing for a few weeks.
Jamie Shillcock had a knock to his knee so he’ll be out for a couple of weeks.
Ethan Waller is not far away from a return.
Bryce Heem is back in training.
Will Butler has had an operation on his elbow and is expected back around December time.

Starting at home
Starting at home is good for all involved – the players, staff and supporters.
It’s important to get off to a good start.
We have a heavy block of six Premiership games to get started and the competition will be fierce.

Scott van Breda
He has played all across the backline and he’s a good kicker both from the tee and from hand.

Jamie Shillcock
He will challenge for the ten jersey but he has the ability to play at 15. It’s good to have that versatility.

We have five players who can kick including all our fly-halves and both Chris Pennell and Scott van Breda.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 28/08/2018 17:31 by A38.

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
A38 (IP Logged)
05 September, 2018 17:23

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership match at the AJ Bell Stadium against Sale Sharks (kick-off 3pm).

Here’s what he had to say:

Wasps reaction
I’m disappointed we didn’t win but it was a good performance. We had opportunities and we didn’t take them.
The penalty count was very high. We have taken matters through the correct channels having watched the film and it is going through the process.
It was a positive performance against a top-three side who are always in the play-offs.
Duncan Weir kicked well and was unlucky not to seal it at the end with the drop-goal attempt.

Worcester Cavaliers reaction
Our pack did a splendid job on Monday night and dominated the set-piece. We could and should’ve won that game.
Availability was difficult in the backs. Alex Hearle and Nick David weren’t available but it was pleasing with the comeback at death to get two bonus points against Newcastle.

Cornell du Preez
We will have a clear prognosis on Cornell by the end of the week. He has had to have surgery.
It’s a shame as he was looking good but it was a freak accident. Dan Robson made a good tackle, Cornell fell to the ground and Joe Launchbury fell and his knee struck Cornell in the throat unfortunately.
The doctor was on hand and Cornell was then taken to hospital.
The medical staff have been excellent and the Club’s support has been excellent.
He is in hospital in Birmingham having further surgery and we will await a report from the specialist/surgeon.

Injury news
Anton Bresler’s groin wasn’t 100 per cent before the game last weekend and you can’t play in the Premiership unless you are fully fit. Fortunately Andrew Kitchener stepped up while Pierce Phillips did a good job too.
Carl Kirwan is nearing a comeback. It’s been great to see him back training.
It was also great to see Zac Xiourouppa play on Monday as both have been out for a while.
Marco Mama is looking good and back in practice this week.
Jack Singleton has a neck issue but we will assess him later this week. We are fortunate that we have Niall Annett and Joe Taufete’e who played well last week.
Bryce Heem was outstanding especially after having not played for a while. He had a bit of cramp but he is okay.

Sale preview
Sale will present a different challenge. They have a strong home record.
It didn’t work out last weekend for them against Harlequins so they’ll be up for it.
We will have to look at our squad carefully off the back of the weekend and there could be a couple of changes but we will assess some players later this week.
They’ll be smarting after last week.
We have strength in depth in the loose forwards and those that step up must take their opportunities.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/2018 17:25 by A38.

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
A38 (IP Logged)
12 September, 2018 17:13

Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match at Sixways against Newcastle Falcons (kick-off 3pm).

Here’s what he had to say:

Sale Sharks and Wasps reaction
We haven’t got the results we’d have liked to and the result we should have got against Wasps.
Our first-half execution wasn’t good against Sale but we showed great resilience and had an opportunity to win that game at the end.
It was a game of two halves. Our problem in the first-half was that we made too many errors which saw us buried in our half.
The intensity comes from the way you train. The focus is on being more clinical and you have to make sure ball security is good.
The margins at this level are very fine. We’ve landed just on the wrong side a couple of times. If we are more clinical we will end up on the right side, we just have to finish opportunities.

Newcastle Falcons
They have had a lot of stability and continuity with the same core players and coaches over a period of time and that makes a huge difference.
You can see the benefit and they fully deserved their top-four finish last year.
This is a big block of six games and we’ll take it one game at a time.
Our focus is on getting performance right and limiting our opponents’ chances.

Team and selection news
We are optimistic that Francois Hougaard will be available but we’ll make a decision later in the week.
Jonny Arr is an experienced player and Michael Heaney played well when he came on against Sale so we have competition.
Cornell du Preez is still in Birmingham with his partner getting support and we are waiting to hear from the surgeon whether further surgery is needed.
The support has been great but it’s been tough for him. We are hoping the next report is positive and he turns a corner.
Ben Te’o is back in training and took part today. He is not quite ready yet though.
Jack Singleton is back into it and is pretty close to playing after a neck issue.
Ethan Waller (shoulder) is not far off as is Anton Bresler (groin). They should be returning over the next couple of weeks.
Wynand Olivier – He’s been to see a specialist. We are pretty positive he will return shortly.

Cavaliers’ win over Leicester Tigers
Carl Kirwan is over the moon after coming through 40 minutes unscathed. He had a tough time out but now he needs game-time.
The lads played well on Monday, in particular Ted Hill, the front row including Farai Mudariki off the bench and Gareth Milasinovich. It was good to see and for them to get the bonus-point win away.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2018 17:15 by A38.

Re: Press Conference Notes - Season 2018/2019
A38 (IP Logged)
19 September, 2018 19:20
Director of Rugby Alan Solomons spoke to the media today ahead of Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership match at Welford Road against Leicester Tigers (kick-off 3pm).

Here’s what he had to say:

Newcastle Falcons reaction
We have to manage key moments correctly and take opportunities when they come.
We have intelligent players and lessons will have been absorbed and learnt but you have to finish the opportunities you create.
It was frustrating but those margins are fine. If we do the little things right we will end up on the right side.
It’s about learning lessons and accuracy is important in those conditions.
All the lads are good ball players but concentration and focus has to be there all the time.
The lineout is a collective effort and five things have to go right for it to work. Rory Duncan has done a great job with them. We came unstuck last weekend but it was very good in the first two games.

Leicester preparation
It’s been a good week with good energy in training.
Tigers will be a fantastic challenge. They are one of the oldest clubs around and Welford Road is a famous old ground.
We’ll have to play well to get the opportunity to win again. It’s about us performing to the best of our ability.
To come away with points it must be nothing less than a top-drawer performance.
They’ve picked up since the first game and it could’ve gone either way against Wasps and that was with 14 men.
They have a solid pack of forwards and plenty of experience in Dan Cole, Tom Youngs and David Denton.
With George Ford and Ben Youngs in the half-backs, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May and Telusa Veainu, they clearly have lots of threats.
My approach is that we have to perform to the best of our ability. We must make good decisions and be accurate in execution in key moments.

Team news/injury news
We have a few bumps and bruises but we will see where we are later in the week.
Bryce Heem has been rested early this week but we are quietly optimistic that he will be fit.
Niall Annett is not 100 per cent due to an ear infection.
Ben Te’o is on the way back and has taken full part in sessions. He is fairly close to returning.
Nick Schonert is fine and fit to play.
Ethan Waller is in full training and we shall assess him.
Wynand Olivier is not in full training yet but is not far off. The European games may be when he returns.
Scott van Breda is making progress but needs to get his strength back. He has a test on Friday.
Perry Humphreys is fine after a hamstring problem.
Matti Williams is back in full training after a back issue.

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