A LACK of “sufficient competition” for places was cited by two former Worcester Warriors stars as a reason for the club’s long-standing inconsistency issues.

Director of rugby Alan Solomons revealed Bryce Heem and Jackson Willison came to the same conclusion when reflecting on their time at Worcester and told him: “If you behave like you are an automatic pick in New Zealand you are gone.”

Wing Heem spent three years at Sixways before joining Toulon this summer — a year after centre Willison left Warriors for Gallagher Premiership rivals Bath.

During the New Zealand-born duo’s time at the club Warriors pulled off a number of stunning showings but were unable to maintain that level as they battled to avoid the drop.

Speaking at last week’s supporters’ forum, Solomons said: “When Bryce and Jackson left we had a long-ranging chat.

“They said one of the problems that Warriors have is that you don’t have sufficient competition.

“A guy who thinks he is an automatic pick in the team — and probably is as there is nobody really challenging him — is not really too fussed because he thinks he is going to play every Saturday afternoon.

“They said that if you behave like (you are an automatic pick) in New Zealand you are gone.”

After adding eight new players ahead of this season Solomons believes Warriors’ strength in depth is the best it has been since he arrived at Sixways two years ago.

“I think we can deal with the consistency by having high standards, being vigilant in maintaining them and having strong competition so suddenly someone who thinks ‘I am an automatic pick (finds out) jeepers I am not in the team’,” Solomons said.

“I think that will make a difference to us.”

Solomons said he was also using another New Zealand rugby principle to ensure his team gets rid of their Jekyll and Hyde character this term.

“Rugby is a physical game so you cannot play without the emotion,” Solomons said.

“If you don’t have the attitude you won’t have the emotion.

“If you don’t have the emotion you won’t have the aggression.

“If you don’t have the aggression, which is the fuel of the game, you are absolutely gone.

“The All Blacks have this thing called the 80-90-10 principle.

“For 80 per cent of the time they say we have to be at 90 per cent of our game.

“For 10 per cent of the time we have to be at 100 per cent and 10 per cent of the time we fall off the bus because that’s human nature.

“I am trying to get that principle into us.

“What we have tried to do to overcome this inconsistency is to set the bar high with our standards.

“It’s not difficult for us to set standards because as far as I am concerned we have not had any. This applies to everything.

“If you don’t fill in your wellness form there’s a consequence to that.

“If you don’t do your hydration test every morning there’s a consequence to that.

“We try to improve things off the field and set the standards high in terms of our preparation.

“It is the same on the practice pitch and we are hoping that this is going to come through in the game.”