CHALLENGING is maybe an understatement to describe Worcester Warriors' season so far but that was the word used by captain Ted Hill, who has been reflecting on his first 12 months as Warriors skipper.

Hill was named as the club captain last summer but due to the long-term injury to team captain Matt Moulds, Hill has had the armband since rugby returned last August.

Warriors are on a 12 game losing streak in the league and Hill admits everyone is feeling it.

"It’s a great challenge for me," said Hill.

"I’m not taking it too hard throughout the losses. For everyone at the club it’s really hard to take and as captain I’m trying to push people throughout the week and try to do things to try and boost the team but at the end of the day this is a team sport, this is an organisation, where we are all trying to get these results to change.

"It’s not on the head of one person, not JT (Jonathan Thomas, head coach) or me. We’re here as a team and when we lose games, especially these two recent ones, we lose them as a team and when we get wins, we will be looking at it from a team perspective."

Last season the target for the current campaign (2020/21) was to push up the table and reach the top seven but things have very much not gone to plan for the Warriors, who would have been favourites for relegation had it not been scrapped due to the pandemic.

"We have targets for ourselves throughout the season and obviously this one hasn’t gone the way we would have wanted to or expected," he added.

"But it’s massively important for us to finish the season on a high. I think teams look at us and think we have good fight in us but we are not able to hold onto a lead or consistently produce performances and we’re desperate to change the narrative there.

"We are still passionate to finish this season as well as we can."

Warriors supporters have, rightly so, been less than pleased with how this campaign has played out and criticism is, most of the time, warranted and well thought out.

But with recent evidence of online abuse towards players/officials/referees very much in the spotlight, there is a fine line between what is acceptable and what is not.

Hill admits that reading comments after matches is something he chooses to do but he is also aware that there are a minority of people out there who must not be tolerated.

"I always listen to what fans have to say," said Hill.

"My experience of Worcester fans is that the large majority of people have really valid opinions but obviously you will always have those comments that haven’t got the best intentions, but people are able to state their opinions.

"I still listen and read those after every game because it is important to understand the passion of your fan base and to understand that, when you’re playing for all the things that you have personally, you are also playing for your fans as well. So it’s important for me to recognise that and I make sure I do.

"If you can limit the abusive stuff online then that should always be the aim and if they can do more then great but whether they can do anything, I am not so sure.

"In my own opinion, as a professional, whether its right or wrong, it is something you have to take on the chin nowadays.

"In life you come across people who have negative opinions and who are going say bad things. The internet is a strange place and you see a lot of those people and think, they wouldn’t say that to them in person, so that’s another aspect I find unusual.

"But sometimes you have to take in on the chin. Read what you think is valid and discard of the rest. At the end of the day there are only a few opinions that matter and those are of the people you surround yourself with, family, coaches, players around you."