Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Worcester Warriors number eight is in great shape
ON the evidence presented so far, it is hard to believe giant number eight Semisi Taulava’s huge frame has actually got smaller since he arrived at Sixways.
Seen as a rough diamond when he was signed from Rotherham, the Warriors strength and conditioning staff immediately set to work on shaping the former Birmingham and Solihull wrecking ball into an Aviva Premiership powerhouse.
Within little over a month of being a Worcester player, Taulava dropped 10 kilogrammes as well as four per cent of his body fat — all without compromising his awesome power.
The Tongan back-rower said: “Adam Carey (club nutritionist) gave me a new diet and I just followed that.
“Picks (head of strength and conditioning Stuart Pickering) and his team got me into a routine and were testing me every day to see if I was cheating and had been eating carbs!
“They were on top of me and I was all for it, but knew I had to do it to achieve my dream — I felt good for it though and that shows on the field.
“I am more mobile and can do other things that I didn’t used to be able to. I am running throughout the 80 minutes no problem.
“When I arrived from Rotherham, I was 137kg but I am 127 now, which was something said straight away — they wanted me to lose body fat and keep my physical strength.
“As you can imagine, coming into a new environment, whatever they throw at you is like the law — you just do it.
“In the space of five weeks, I dropped four per cent of my body fat — I was 18.3 and then I went down to 14.6.
“I am used to the pace now, so I am trying to move away from just being ‘crash, bash’ and looking at where I can run to be more effective.”
Although the facilities at Sixways are a world apart from those at Clifton Lane, Taulava is full of praise for the impact Rotherham head coach Andre Bester had on his career.
He explained: “Certainly, Andre played a big part in my development — he gave me confidence in my ability and told me to get out there and do what I’m good at.
“Richard (Hill) and Nigel (Redman) have continued along that line, encouraging me to use what I’ve got as well as adding a few more things to my armoury.
“Andre had a lot of influence in me making it to the Premiership — there is something about the guy and he makes you want to play for him.
“He is brutally honest and some people don’t like that but, as long as you get your head down, your bum up and work hard, you’ll be fine.”