JONNY Arr has backed Warriors wing wonder David Lemi to make Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards eat his words when the two sides clash at Kingston Park on Sunday (2pm).
Falcons boss Richards told their supporters the 32-year-old Samoan was ‘too old and past it’ at a fans’ forum, a comment which stoked the fires ahead of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership crunch relegation clash.
Lemi proved he has lost none of his old magic with a stunning break to set up Sam Betty’s try against Wasps on Friday night.
However, later in the game, the winger suffered a hamstring injury and is facing a race against time to be fit for the Falcons trip.
Sixways scrum-half Arr hopes the former Bristol, Wasps and Glasgow speedster will be available and is in no doubt as to Lemi’s talents.
The Worcester-born 25-year-old said: “I hadn’t heard any of the comments he (Richards) made going into the Wasps game, but the one I did hear about afterwards was the comment about David.
“He showed his quality on Friday night and is, without doubt, one of the best players I have ever played with – certainly in his position.
“Whether or not Dave knew about those comments before the game, they have been totally quashed now.
“He showed his quality and we’re lucky to have him here at the moment. He will be key to us in the next five games, as he is such a spark – so creative and dangerous.
“If he could score the match-winning try at Newcastle on Sunday, that would be the perfect ending to the game.”
On the heart-breaking 13-11 defeat to Wasps, Arr added: “When we were trying to hold them out on our line at the end, I thought ‘not again’ but unfortunately the worst eventually did happen.
“We were all devastated afterwards, but having come in this week and watched the game back, we have to take what we can out of some of the stuff we did and try to put the same effort into Sunday’s game at Newcastle.
“We know there’s still time and more performances with all the heart and effort we produced against Wasps will certainly keep us going right until the death. While the opportunity is there to succeed, that’s all we need.
“Relegation would obviously be a huge blow to everyone immediately and there would be implications financially with the business side of the club, which we don’t want to happen.
“If the worst did come to the worst, there would be nothing we could do about it and we would just have to see it as another season where we could build upon what Dean (Ryan) has put in place across this year.
“It would be another season playing against different teams where we could put all that together in the long-term plan.”