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Worcester Warriors preview - Stuart Hooper

27 September 2019

The squad are all looking forward to the first home game of the season tomorrow afternoon against Worcester Warriors.

It’s an honour to be leading the Club in what we is an incredibly exciting period for us. We absolutely respect the past, but we want to inspire into the future. We’ve had to make changes and start doing things different to forge a path which allows us to be the successful team that everyone associated with the Club strives for.

The Premiership Rugby Cup forms part of our journey and provides an opportunity over four weeks to play our very best players in preparation for our first Premiership game of the season against Bristol. We have to manage the players through these games in order to give the players the opportunity to prove that they are the right people to be picked to play for the Club. One thing I’m very clear with the lads is that you need to earn your right to play for this Club and pull on the Blue, Black and White.

There were some real positives to take away from last weekend’s game. I was watching the likes of Nahum (Merigan), Gabe (Hamer-Webb) and Max (Ojomoh) on the school fields last year, so it was a proud moment to see these Bath men make their debuts, but also to see how well they equipped themselves to the challenge in front of them. 

Unfortunately, we’ve lost Miles (Reid) in what is likely to be a season-ending knee injury. We’re gutted for him – he’s worked incredibly hard over pre-season to put himself in contention for a back row position, which is exactly what he did. We have no doubt that Miles can come back even stronger and we’ll support him in every way we can in his rehabilitation.

Tomorrow afternoon is a real opportunity for the guys that haven’t played yet. The whole squad have put in a lot into pre-season, so today is about making sure that we put into practice what we’ve been working on over the last 14 weeks. 

There’s that added sense of excitement being back here at the Rec, but we’ve been channeling it in the right way this week to ensure we deliver the best performance. Worcester had a great start last weekend, but our focus has been firmly on what we can control. The game centres around ensuring that the work that we have put in during the week gives us desired outcomes needed to take us forward to Ashton Gate next month.

Enjoy the game,  

Hoops

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