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French connection for Warriors staff
RICHARD Hill’s French connection is being put to the test this week with crucial meetings designed to give Worcester Warriors some much-needed cutting edge.
Sixways head coach Hill and defence expert Phil Larder have led a delegation to Biarritz to meet Mathieu Rourre, the French Top 14 outfit’s attack specialist who also works part-time for Warriors, and the trio aim to add a sprinkling of Gallic flair to Worcester’s playing style.
Last term, Larder ensured Warriors were hard to break down and he created one of the meanest defences in the Aviva Premiership, but any semblance of attacking prowess was sacrificed in pursuit of that resoluteness.
However, Hill moved quickly to remedy that with the appointment of Rourre to the Sixways coaching team and the trio have been getting their heads together during this week’s three-day summit, which ends today.
Hill said: “It is a crucial meeting in Biarritz about the future direction of the playing style.
“We need to blend our attack and defence strategy and it is critical we know how we will achieve that aim.
“Phil, as our defence coach, has been very pleased that Mathieu is coming on board.
“We don’t just want to put defence in a box and attack in a separate box, they have got to inter-relate and when we are doing sessions they sit side-by-side.”
He added: “Over these three days we will decide on the playing strategy and style we will adopt.
“When we are in agreement, we will add Nigel Redman and Phil Vickery (forwards coaches) to the mix and take this forward.
“It’s very important that we come away with an understanding of how we want to play.
“We have new players at the club and can mould them into the strategy we plan to use this season in the league and cups.
“Phil and Mathieu have not met before so it will be good to sit them down and talk rugby. With accents from Huddersfield, Bath and also Biarritz, it should be entertaining too!”
Meanwhile, new signings Paul Hodgson, Dean Schofield and Semisi Taulava will join up with their Warriors team-mates next week.
Alex Grove, Matt Mullan and David Lemi will then arrive the following week after playing international rugby.
Warriors have also announced a 10-day extension to the deadline for new and existing supporters to take advantage of the reduced price rate on 2012-13 season tickets.
The deadline is now the close of business on Wednesday, July 11, and more information is available at warriors.co.uk or by calling 01905-454183.