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We’ve got to fight for our places – Jon
CENTRE Jon Clarke reckons international experience will count for nothing ahead of the new Aviva Premiership season at Worcester Warriors.
Richard Hill’s new-look Sixways squad continue to work hard on the training pitch in preparation for the forthcoming friendlies and league opener against Bath on Saturday, September 1.
But Clarke, who joined from Northampton Saints in the summer, is not taking a place in the first XV for granted and says shirts have to be earned.
The 28-year-old former England Saxon is vying with Fijian internationals Ravai Fatiaki and Josh Matavesi, Scotland’s Alex Grove and former England under 18s star Andy Short.
“We have real competition in the centre spots,” Clarke said. “Ravai and Grovesy are comfortable at inside or outside, Josh can play both and Shorty is a real talent who can play multi-positions.
“It is down to playing well in pre-season – it is that simple. Reputations are nothing at the moment and it is all down to form, the coaching staff have made that very clear.
“I want to show what I can do in the pre-season games, but there is some real competition here. You train as hard as you can and hopefully you get selected.”
Clarke is one of several new additions as Warriors bid to mould a team capable of breaking into the upper echelons of the Premiership. But he is ready for the challenge, as well as taking on former side Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens in late September.
Clarke said: “I looked to see when we have Northampton, but we have two decent home games before that we are looking forward to and it is a good chance to come away with some wins.
“It’s different to come to a new club with new people. It’s a different way of training too and it’s a case of buying into that as quickly as you can while remembering everyone’s name and adapting quickly.
“You want to fit in and get yourself in the mix by working as hard as you can. I was fully fit come the end of last season and have done plenty of training so picking it up in pre-season was never a problem. You have to get to a point when you are feeling comfortable in yourself and then you can look at the games and build up to the season and the Bath game.”