Worcester will be desperately hoping to improve on their last-place finish in the Gallagher Premiership last season. Worcester Warriors 2021/22 Director of Rugby Alan Solomons won’t have the fear of relegation, but, will hope the Warriors can be far more competitive.
Worcester Warriors 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership Focus
Can Worcester climb the table of such a competitive division?
Ins and Outs
The Warriors arguably improved their squad the most out of any Premiership club. Most notable are undoubtedly British and Irish Lions Rory Sutherland, and Lion/Scottish International Duhan van der Merwe. Incoming hooker Scott Baldwin helped shore up the Harlequins set-piece and will look to do the same with Worcester, whilst Owen Williams could supply the orchestrator and goal kicker they need at fly-half.
Francois Hougaard is arguably the most notable loss from Sixways. The South African has been one of Worcester’s most consistent players since his arrival in 2016. However, the two incoming scrum-halves of Willi Heinz and Will Chudley offer plenty of experience to compensate this blow. Other departures include impressive youngster Nick David, prop Nick Schonert, and Scotland international Duncan Weir.
All three have been consistent performers, but with Lions amongst the incoming talent, Worcester fans should be pleased with player recruitment.
Captain Ted Hill has been one of Worcester’s best performers, and it’s hard to believe the homegrown favourite is only 22 years old. Matt Kvesic has supported him exceptionally, and has continued his quality carrying and breakdown work from his time at Exeter Chiefs. Fans will be hoping that fellow academy graduate and England international Ollie Lawrence can deliver on his potential, and become a dominant force in midfield. Fortunately, Lawrence looked solid in Worcester’s pre-season friendly against Glasgow, scoring a try in the process.
Are the Warriors doomed to last place?
The stats from last season paint a bleak picture for the Warriors. Not only did they finish bottom, but they were 18 league points from their closest opposition. The Warriors had a –241 points difference, a concerning statistic when compared to the next-lowest PD of –127 (Newcastle Falcons).
Yet Worcester fans still have cause for optimism. The recruitment has added quality to the squad, and young stars like Ted Hill and Ollie Lawrence (see above image) will have one more years’ experience. Worcester consistently have terrific support with an average of over 9,000 per game, so the return of fans to Sixways could provide an extra boost.
Eight of Worcester’s defeats last season were within seven points. With margins as fine as this, small but consistent improvements for the Worcester Warriors 2021/22 squad could pay big dividends.
The Worcester Warriors 2021/22 season begins vs London Irish, at Sixways Stadium on September 18.
“Main photo credit”
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