23rd Sep, 2019

Giant lock Phillips adapting to 'intense' Premiership life

Aaron Wise 20th Sep, 2017

SUMMER signing Pierce Phillips admitted he did not expect to feature in all three of Warriors’ Premiership fixtures to date after stepping up from the Championship.

Since arriving at Sixways from Jersey Reds, the giant 6ft 8in lock featured from the bench against Newcastle in a performance which impressed director of rugby Gary Gold and led to starts against Wasps and Exeter.

The 24-year-old believes he has adapted well to life in the Premiership, but insists he still has a lot to learn from the intensity of the competition.

“Joining Worcester this season was the right time for me to step up. I had spent three years in the Championship prior to this move and was still learning a lot, even last year,” said Phillips.

“If I had tried to force a move to the Premiership any earlier, I don’t think I would be in the position I am now.

“It’s been a massive step up (from the Championship) on and off the pitch, but I think I’m adapting well.

“Coming from the Championship, you’re not sure how much game-time you’ll get, so for me it’s about improving and getting up to speed (with what is required) to play at this level. I want to have a vital role in the team.

“You can’t always predict when your chance will come and I certainly didn’t expect it to be this early, but it’s been a really enjoyable experience and I’m learning a lot every day.

“It’s been very intense, but that hasn’t been a surprise as I expected the Premiership to be like that. The guys are fitter, stronger and faster in this league so it’s been a bit tough on the body,” he added.

The former Jersey skipper recalls the last time he faced Warriors in the 2014/15 Championship season.

“I didn’t feature in Warriors’ pre-season friendly against Jersey Reds last season as I was at my brother’s wedding, but I remember playing against Worcester in Jersey when they last came down to the Championship,” he added.

“We won that match with a last minute drop-goal. I’ve learnt a lot since then and have developed to the point where I’ve reached my threshold in the Championship.”

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