22nd Jul, 2019

Crucial pre-season awaits Warriors

Rob George 3rd Jul, 2019

WARRIORS chief Alan Solomons has revealed his plans for pre-season as his Sixways side reported back for duty.

The South African director of rugby marked the countdown to the new Premiership campaign with a call for consistency from his side ahead of the new season.

A month of conditioning work lies ahead for the players before a week’s break. A further month of build-up will see a focus on rugby ahead of this year’s camp in Spain before another week’s break.

Warriors welcome eight new signings to Sixways this summer including wing Melani Nanai – Blues’ Players’ Player of the Season in their recent Super Rugby campaign – Samoa international wing Ed Fidow and lock Graham Kitchener and Solomons believes the training camp will play an important part in squad bonding.

“The Spain camp will be the same as last year, the facilities were really good, the players enjoyed it,” Solomons said.

“I think it will be a positive step in preparation for next season. Those camps bring people together, you are in the same place at the same time and it bonds the squad, especially the new guys coming in.

“It’s hot so you train early in the morning but they have a pool and it was close to the beach which is important. They work hard but must also enjoy their downtime.”

Warriors have been drawn alongside Enisei, Dragons and Castres in the European Challenge Cup and will discover their Gallagher Premiership fixtures next Wednesday. The opening round of Premiership matches will be played on the weekend of October 18 to 20.

The new season will start with the Premiership Sevens at Northampton on September 13 and 14 followed by four rounds of Premiership Rugby Cup matches beginning on the weekend of September 20 to 22.

Warriors secured Premiership status with two rounds of matches to go last season and finished tenth as they equalled the club’s record of nine wins in a season in the top flight.

However, only two of those wins – against Sale Sharks and Gloucester – came in successive league games and Solomons is aiming for more consistency next season.

“Our massive work-on is consistency. We have certainly made progress in terms of points and wins and it was a positive end to the season with three wins out of four to finish, Solomons said.

“We need to set the bar very high and maintain those high standards and hopefully that will overcome our inconsistency.”

One area Warriors impressed in last season was in fitness which helped to secure important last-gasp wins against Bath, Leicester and Saracens.

Solomons believes that was the result of the work put in by Johan Pretorius before and during his first season as head of performance.

“You can’t play top level rugby if you aren’t in great condition. We picked up some resilience, we were well conditioned and managed to fight to the end. We were fitter,” he added.

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