Relegation must make Warriors stronger

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First published in Sport

IT came as no surprise when Worcester Warriors' relegation from the Aviva Premiership was confirmed following defeat to Saracens.

What was a surprise, however, was that the Sixways side managed to make it to the penultimate weekend of the season before their fate was sealed.

Given the wretched start to the campaign, that speaks volumes for the improvements made by Dean Ryan's side in the latter stages of the campaign.

By most accounts, Warriors haven't been the worst team in the league since about March, despite victory at Newcastle Falcons being their only one of the term to date. The trouble is, they were the worst for the first six months of the season and they have paid the price for that.

People will point to the performances against Leicester, Northampton, Exeter and Bath that Ryan's revolution was heading in the right direction.

Yet it was all too little too late and Warriors will now have to rebuild in the Championship and try to come back stronger.

But we have been here before. Only three seasons have past since Mike Ruddock took Warriors down to the second tier, and Richard Hill brought them straight back up 12 months later.

Two seasons later and the club is back at square one, seemingly having failed to learn from the experience.

In Ryan they have a man intent on addressing the issues that have stifled Worcester in the past and building a club that can progress in the future.

Having the former England number eight at the helm for the long term will ensure continuity and he has assembled a squad that, on paper, looks an exciting prospect.

But, whatever happens next season, it is imperative that Warriors are stronger for the experience and that this chapter in their history is not revisited.

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