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Hill to change Warriors recruitment strategy
RICHARD Hill has revealed Warriors will be adopting a new recruitment strategy in a bid to finally break into the Aviva Premiership top-six.
The Worcester head coach has grown frustrated with the club developing top English talent like Matt Kvesic and Matt Mullan only for them to quit Sixways in search of Heineken Cup rugby elsewhere.
However, Hill is excited by the new direction the club will be taking in terms of player recruitment and is confident it will enable Warriors to move to the next level, a bi-product of which will be the ability to retain their top home-grown talent.
The former England scrum-half explained: “We have an interesting situation because Worcester have always had to cope with players leaving — especially the younger ones.
“As a result, the club have not managed to get out of the bottom four, so clearly the recruitment strategy over the last few years has not been the right one — we have to change it.
“I tried to maintain that strategy in the first two years I was here but clearly, having lost the likes of Marcel Garvey, Miles Benjamin, Graham Kitchener and one or two other players this year, that approach is not going to work for Worcester.
“I am going to go down a different route because we have to get into that top six — only then will we be able to retain our very best players.”
Hill added: “I won’t go into too much detail as to what we will be doing just yet, but there will be a number of new faces coming in next season and different types of people.
“I have to change things and I am excited about this new tack. It will give us the boost we need to get into the top six and then, after that, it will be easy to keep our young, talented players.
“I know the supporters are quite rightly disappointed when we lose players, but unless I address this and change the strategy, it will happen year after year.”
On out-of-contract fly-half Andy Goode, who’s future is the topic of much speculation, Hill said: “I mentioned the Newport Gwent Dragons link to Andy and I’m not sure he concurs with that one.”
Hill added: “I’ve still got a decision to make on 10 and I hope over the next seven days that will be resolved one way or the other.
“I’m pretty close to doing that, but we’ll have to wait and see. It’s a key position and I have to make sure I make the right decision.”
Meanwhile, three Warriors players will be in international action tomorrow night after wing Nikki Walker and centre Alex Grove were named in the Scotland ‘A’ squad to face England Saxons at Newcastle Falcons’ Kingston Park (8pm).
In addition, up-and-coming academy product Ben Howard has been named on the left wing for England under 20s’ Six Nations opener against Scotland at Plymouth Albion’s Brickfields Stadium (5.45pm). Both games will be shown live on Sky Sports.