DIRECTOR of rugby Dean Ryan described Tom Heathcote’s first appearance in a Worcester Warriors shirt as ‘outstanding’.
The fly half, who arrived at Sixways from Edinburgh in the summer, converted all five of his new side’s tries as Warriors pushed Barbarians all the way.
Despite losing 43-35, Ryan said he was delighted to see his players compete against the likes of international Carl Hayman, Ali Williams and Pierre Spies.
And he was quick to highlight the performances of Heathcote and fellow new recruit Phil Dowson, who was handed the captaincy and scored the opening try.
“We have had two weeks away in camp, so we knew today would be a serious test and we are pleased” he said.
“The key idea was to get everybody new to the club out. The danger of that was that we would be a little bit ragged and not quite understanding each other.
“That showed for the first 20-30 minutes and we probably played into the Barbarians’ hands. But it started to get a little bit better and I am pleased with them.
“I thought Tom Heathcote was outstanding and I thought the way Phil Dowson led the side was great, so everybody is now part of Worcester rugby which is the box we wanted to tick at the end of today.”
He added: “Heathcote looked really comfortable. His goal kicking was spot on and he looked really sharp.
“Tom came here to compete with Ryan (Lamb) and I am sure Ryan will respond to that.
“Fly half is not an area which we have had strength in depth in, so we are pleased that he has come along.”