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Worcester Warriors stung by Goode's London Wasps move
WARRIORS fly-half Andy Goode is set to be unveiled as a Wasps player this week after agreeing terms on a switch to Adams Park.
The former England play-maker is poised to end his three-year stay at Sixways by moving to the Aviva Premiership high-fliers in the summer.
Goode will become the third Warriors player to quit Sixways for Wasps this season after the Wycombe-based outfit snapped up loosehead prop Matt Mullan and Goode’s number 10 rival Joe Carlisle.
As Warriors’ elected marquee player — a club’s top-earner whose wage can be discounted from the salary cap — it was difficult for Worcester to retain his services and it is believed he wasn’t even offered a deal to remain at Sixways.
Head coach Richard Hill revealed last week that he expects tighthead prop Euan Murray to be Worcester’s marquee player next season, ultimately forcing Goode to look to further his career elsewhere.
Meanwhile, following on from Worcester’s 29-23 bonus point win over Wasps on Friday night, Warriors now have a two-week mini-break from action before they face London Irish.
Hill believes the swatting of Wasps can be the launchpad for a strong finish to the campaign, which will be boosted by a number of players returning from injury.
He said: “The talk before the Wasps game was not about relegation — it was about hitting form. We have been working so hard and we just felt Friday was the night we put it all together.
“We hear some clubs saying their players are tired and battered, but we have got a very fit squad, they are all fresh. We have the likes of Ravai Fatiaki coming back for the London Irish game, while Chris Jones, Shaun Perry and Semisi Taulava will all be available.
“We have got people coming back, we are in good shape and this is the time to hit form. We are not thinking about tired bodies, we have managed people and we need to come good."
Hill was also quick to praise scrum-half Jonny Arr, who impressed against Wasps and scored the bonus point try, and replacement fly-half Danny Gray, who replaced the injured Goode and caught the eye.
The Warriors boss added: “Andy has had a dead leg. He picked it up against Gloucester and didn’t train all week. He said he was OK, played the first-half and did some good things, but clearly it wasn’t right and it got a bit messy at the start of the second-half.
“We brought Danny on and he stepped up to it.
“It was a little bit scary when he missed the kick in front of the posts, but he didn’t let it affect him and he hit some superb line-kicks into the corner to get our line-out going.
“Jonny really put his body on the line like he normally does. He is not the biggest of blokes but he absolutely gives 100 per cent in terms of physical commitment.”