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I’m getting back to my Best, says Neil
WARRIORS flanker Neil Best has put the frustration of last season’s injury-enforced absence behind him and insists he is in tip-top shape ahead of the new Aviva Premiership campaign.
The former Ireland international missed three months of the 2011-12 term after breaking his arm against Bath in late Novemeber, a period which saw Sam Betty rise to prominence in the Worcester number six shirt.
However, ex-Northampton Saint Best has put in the hard yards during pre-season and wants to be head coach Richard Hill’s first choice on the blindside flank.
Best said: “I have enjoyed pre-season and I’m in the best shape I have been in since I arrived in England.
“I am very happy with that and I have worked hard in the off-season to get myself right.
“Last season was frustrating with the broken arm, it was difficult and disrupted my year. But I have worked hard and put a lot of bulk on so I am a lot heavier, which will help me.
“I feel happier about myself and what I can achieve this season. We all can’t wait for the Cardiff Blues game in pre-season and the chance to put down a marker.”
Best also revealed the squad are enjoying training with Warriors’ new coaching staff, particularly forwards coach Nigel Redman and his right-hand man Phil Vickery.
The Irishman said: “I have already enjoyed working with Nigel and Phil. It is early days at the moment, but I am sure they can mould us into being a better team than we were last season.
“That is what they are here to do and I am sure they will do exactly what is needed to make us better.”
Best said the atmosphere around the club has been improved and there is a real confidence about Sixways .
He explained: “There is a really good feeling about the team, better than my first two years here.
“I think there is a better feeling around the squad and whole club and expectation about what we can achieve.
“The competition is good. The vibe around the team is really good at the moment, the new lads have come in and adapted very well.
“There are plenty of boys going for back row spots, but competition is good for you so I won’t be complaining about that. “You want to be pushed to get a place every weekend.”