FOLLOWING the relegation of Saracens from the Gallagher Premiership, Worcester Warriors’ usual pressure to avoid relegation has now gone.

Since the Saracens news was announced Warriors have gone on a three-game losing run in the league and some would point to the fact that the luxury of not being relegated has affected the team.

I am not totally on board with that because if you take the last three league games into account Worcester should have actually won all three.



Against Wasps they had possession of the ball on the opposition try line with the final play and had it not been for a penalty they probably would have scored.

Against Bath they came within a Chris Pennell missed penalty of winning and last weekend Warriors created enough chances to take the spoils against Bristol.

For large parts of all three of those games Alan Solomons’ men have been impressive.

The younger players are proving they have the ability at this level, Nick David the perfect example with two tries in his first two Premiership starts.

Kai Owen came off the bench on Sunday and the likes of Jamie Shillcock and Ollie Lawrence have recently established themselves as regulars.

And of course Ted Hill leads the way with his England call-up for this year’s Six Nations.

When you look at the academy players getting introduced into the first team there is much to be positive about as a Worcester fan.

Seventeen players have signed contract extensions with the club, most for a further two years.

Most of those are players are under 23 years of age and the future looks like an exciting one.

One thing that I have questioned is that these young players need to be surrounded by experienced ones.

Whilst there are a number of them in the playing squad there still seems to be a lack of guidance at times on the pitch.

Matt Moulds has taken over as captain and whilst the coaches and players alike insist he is a leader he has not been at the club long himself and it does, from the outside, look a slightly strange choice.

Ryan Mills was stripped of the captaincy earlier in the season as it was agreed he needed to step away from the role and focus on his own game but now the centre seems to be on the fringes.

Full-back Chris Pennell, the stalwart of the club, has been out of the team lately and the emergence of Shillcock seems to suggest maybe the 32-year-old’s game time might be shared with him from now on.

There definitely seems to be a feeling of change about the club as they move forward and that could be a reason behind the poor results.

A lot of these players need game time now and this would be the best period to give it to them. The losing run needs to be addressed and discipline has played a big role.

Warriors have seen men sin binned in their last two games and the penalty count has been far too high of late also.

Is this something that might be down to a leadership issue?

I could not say definitely but there is a problem that needs to be looked at as losing more games will only hamper this young squad ahead of next season.

Form needs to be carried over and a positive end to this campaign is a must if Worcester are to push on towards that top-six pack in the near future.