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Time for some good news to lift the gloom from Warriors supporters
10:30am Friday 15th March 2013 in Sport
IT’S all gone rather quiet on the Worcester Warriors front recently, which has led to more than a little unrest among the Sixways club’s supporters.
Disgruntled fans have been picking up their pens to voice their frustrations on the letters page of your Worcester News, while the overall tone of the various online message boards has taken a turn towards the negative.
However, it is no different to any other season and I predict a flurry of action to come out of the Warriors press office — both new signings and current players extending their contracts — next week.
The club are poised to launch their season ticket and debenture packages for the 2013/14 season early next week and will be looking to create a wave of positive news upon which to tempt existing fans to renew as well as enticing new supporters to buy into the Worcester project.
Most fans’ gripes seem to be based on a perceived drain of the club’s top players to rival Aviva Premiership sides, with the departures of Matt Kvesic, Matt Mullan and Andy Goode causing the most angst.
It is a very precarious position for the club and one that is difficult to escape from without making sufficient progress up the league table to convince the top players their futures should be at Sixways.
While fly-half Goode has been in good form this year, a combination of his increasing years and high salary made it all but impossible for head coach Richard Hill to retain him. That said, it seemed the Warriors boss wasn’t interested in holding on to the former England stand-off as no contract offer was made by Worcester to the fly-half and he was able to take his pick from a host of leading clubs from both this country and Wales.
In the case of Mullan, who will link up with Goode and another Sixways stand-off Joe Carlisle, at Wasps next term, it is a more complex issue.
Fans have been angered by the loss of a player who, when on top form, forced his way into the England set-up, but that was back in 2010 and arguably he has failed to reproduce that form since.
The academy graduate loosehead has been dogged with shoulder problems throughout his career and, despite an injury-free run this term, his durability will always be a concern.
Kvesic’s switch from Worcester to Gloucester was a bitter pill for the club to swallow, though, the lure of Heineken Cup rugby would have been too strong to turn down for a player who will doubtless move into the full England squad sooner rather than later.
Therefore, the coming weeks will be a key time for the club as they reveal their hand and announce the players they have secured to replace those moving on.
How well these announcements are received by the Warriors faithful — especially who will replace Mullan in the number one jersey — will go a long way to lifting some of the gloom that has descended on Sixways in the early months of 2013.