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Warriors backed to hit the top-half
MANAGING director Charlie Little believes Worcester Warriors are ready to move into the top echelons of the Aviva Premiership.
The Sixways chief says settling for a bottom-half finish among English rugby’s elite has to stop and insists the infrastructure is in place to achieve that.
The players reported back for pre-season training on Monday — two-and-a-half months before the first league game — with nine new faces in the ranks, including England scrum-half Paul Hodgson and Scotland international winger Nikki Walker.
A new-look coaching team has also been assembled during the close season with Nigel Redman, Phil Vickery and Mathieu Rourre all joining.
New rugby operations director Corin Palmer arrivied on Monday, while a new academy manager is set to follow.
Head coach Richard Hill has spoken about how he believes the rugby structures are now in place to build on the infrastructure and facilities at Sixways.
It is a view echoed by Little who is convinced the club has the right team on and off the field that, coupled with a shift in attitude and culture, can finally take Warriors forward.
“There is a huge amount of excitement coming through the coaching staff, in particular at what is going to happen throughout the 2012-13 season,” he said.
“We have fantastic facilities, have built a superb backroom and administrative team and have a board of directors now in place making the right decisions.
“There will be a seismic shift in culture this season.
“For too long we have accepted our position in the bottom-half of the Premiership.
“We have shown we can win against teams like Saracens but need to be backing that up.
“The culture, mind-set, behaviours and values from top to bottom will be addressed.
“We have made positive changes during the summer and feel we will have the right people here to deliver what we want, not just in the long term but immediately throughout the entire club.”
He continued: “The new players have a strong work ethic and that is critical to achieve matchday performance. The players we have recruited have a point to prove and will work hard in training and take that onto the pitch and perform.
“A lot of time and investment has been put in by our fans and we start preparations for our eighth season in the top-flight determined to move up.
“For too long we have been considered a club with potential. We need to realise that and our supporters deserve that success.”