New faces will be a huge boost

First published in Sport by

I HAVE been really impressed with our recruitment so far and Sixways will certainly be an exciting place to be next season.

Some of the names who will be coming in, like Nikki Walker, are real quality players and it is important to replace those leaving you with people of the same level, if not higher.

The guys who are going will be missed, but the squad for next season is shaping up to be very competitive in every position — even the places on the bench will have two quality players competing for them.

We play Newcastle Falcons a week on Friday and they are looking strong, I certainly haven’t written them off for the season and I can see them picking up a few more wins.

With the quality of coaches they have been able to bring in, it was always on the cards that they would show some fight and they have had a bit of a lift recently.

If they play in the way they have been doing recently, then we can expect a massive game when they come to Sixways next week.

'The guys who are going will be missed, but the squad for next season is shaping up to be very competitive in every position — even the places on the bench will have two quality players competing for them.'

Worcester Warriors captain Chris Pennell

We will make sure we have got ourselves in the right frame of mind. They will be really targeting the match and it would mean a lot to them if they could win at Sixways as it would drag us a little closer to them.

That said, looking at our record in 2012, Sixways is certainly a tough place for teams to visit and Falcons would take confidence if they could cause us problems, but we will be going all out to win.

Because we have a two-week break from playing matches, we had Monday and Tuesday off last week as well as the Friday to make a long weekend, but we were in and training hard on specific, individual things on the Wednesday and Thursday.

Training is now really building towards the Newcastle game and this week we are into the hard work of trying to up our strength and fitness as well as getting our tactics right for the game. Come Monday, we will hit the ground running.

It is frustrating not to be playing for these two weeks, but also a great opportunity to recharge our batteries before the final block of Aviva Premiership matches.

If we had won our cup games and been involved in the knock-out matches last weekend, it would have been very exciting, but we have to take the positives out of the situation and the break means we can go into the Newcastle game fresh in both mind and body.

It has been a tough season so far and we have picked up plenty of knocks, so this fortnight has given us the chance to heal a few bumps and bruises, so we can fire into the remaining games of the season with everyone pushing each other hard for a place in the team.

Finally, I was delighted to see my old school — Old Swinford — reach the final of the Daily Mail Cup over the weekend with a victory over King’s School, Worcester.

I couldn’t get to the match, but I will definitely try to get to Twickenham to watch them in the final. When I was at school, we missed out on a place in the final by just one point, so it is great to see the team go one step further.

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