Director of Rugby, Stuart Hooper, faced the press this afternoon ahead of our Round 5 trip to Leicester Tigers on Sunday.
Reflection on Premiership start so far
“The bottom line is we are not where we want to be but with a realisation that we are only five games into a block now that goes through until the end of June. We were never going to be at our best in week one. We were never satisfied with what we delivered. There are parts of our game that have been positive but ultimately, we need to be better than what we have been consistently.
“We need to be winning the games particularly the Scarlets and the Newcastle ones. They were disappointing mainly for the technical points in the game but also to be at home and lose, that’s tough for us. We want to kick on and we want to move forward with our season but not getting too carried away with other results that we want.
On Ruaridh McConnochie, Will Muir and Alex Gray’s England Sevens experience
“Ruaridh’s sevens experience was a big part of why we brought him to the club in the first place. There are a number of things that they learn in that programme. Obviously playing rugby and playing into space is one of them but their resilience, their ability to travel and play multiple games in a day and over a weekend and then the unpredictability of the environment that those guys live in is definitely an advantage to those guys playing in the Premiership.
“The Sevens circuit gives those guys a bit more of an unpredictable nature with a more disrupted preparation and wall of those different things will help and have helped Ruaridh, and latterly we’re seeing the same with Will Muir and Alex Gray. So, we have three guys here now who have been in the England sevens circuit.”
On Alex Gray’s readaptation to rugby
“He’s doing really well. For anyone who is a fan of the NFL will know that the energy systems needed to play rugby on the wing versus being a tight end in the NFL is quite different. He’s had a reconditioning period, but he’s been good.
“He’s been diligent. Another positive is that he’s been in another environment and he’s seen ways of operating and he’s added a lot to us. There are a lot of wingers scrapping it out at the moment.”