18th Nov, 2019

Heathcote: Friendlies must play part

Aaron Wise 10th Aug, 2016 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

FLY-HALF Tom Heathcote believes the club will need to hit the ground running in their pre-season friendlies if they are to shock Saracens on the opening day of the Aviva Premiership.

The Inverness-born player, who joined the Sixways side in the summer of 2015 from Edinburgh Rugby, said the opportunity to play three teams from different leagues would hopefully get the club fine tuned for the Sarries clash at Twickenham on Saturday, September 3.

“I’m really excited to play Clermont Auvergne, Jersey and Munster. Clermont have some big names and they start their season early, so they’ll be geared up and ready,” Heathcote said.

“It’ll be great to play a team at the top of Europe, which is ultimately where we want to be. It’s going to be a challenge to play three teams from different leagues, but we’ll have a game plan for each one and it’ll set us up nicely for the Premiership curtain-raiser against Saracens.

The 24-year-old also admitted the club’s ongoing pre-season strength and conditioning sessions have been ‘brutal’.

“Training has been tough since we’ve come back. The bike and rowing tests can be brutal and those are the ones everyone dreads,” he said.

“We’ve done some yoga and wrestling sessions too. The wrestling is hard but it works every part of your body. We make sure we always give 100 per cent so we can really feel the benefits.

“At the moment the atmosphere in the group is really positive and we’re looking forward to the tests ahead,” he added.

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