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Worcester rejuvenated after Gold makeover

Gary Gold has revealed he discovered a Worcester squad training poorly and unprepared for the physical intensity of the Premiership when he was parachuted into the club at the end of January.

The Warriors director of rugby has questioned the quality of the pre-season preparation undertaken at the club, and has worked with its newly-appointed head of strength and conditioning, ex-Royal Marine Paddy Anson, to overhaul training.

Gold says players won’t be receiving any “charity” from him and senior squad members say they have embraced the tough new regime, telling The Rugby Paper that they feel more confident going into matches.

Former Springbok assistant coach Gold, whose side have won three out of five matches since his arrival, said: “I’m not necessarily sure the original preparation in strength and conditioning was at the required level of intensity.

“That’s may be where we were behind the black ball going into this season.

“There is a direct correlation in the team between how they train and their performance. I don’t think they have always trained well, and you need the confidence of a good training week.

“We wanted to push the limits in terms of intensity in training and with that comes a risk, particularly if guys have been in a seven-month season already and their bodies aren’t used to that intensity, but that’s the intensity of the Premiership.

“But we’ve had a good response since we’ve ramped it up, and we’ve been going hammer and tongues on the training field this week.”

Club stalwart Chris Pennell said players felt reinvigorated by Gold’s approach.

“With Gary, everything is about energy,” said the full-back. “On Mondays and Tuesdays things have definitely been ramped up. We’re getting our work done early in the week and then being freshened up.

“We feel we have so much more energy on game days because our jobs are simpler.”

Gold was brought in at Sixways to keep the relegation-threatened Warriors in the Premiership, after head coach Carl Hogg admitted he needed another pair of hands at the club.

Wins over Champions Saracens and bottom club Bristol have lifted the Warriors seven points off the basement with five games to go.

Gold is now demanding a relentlessness from his squad. “I’ve got confidence in the group of players,” he said. “There are certain things I’ve asked for and I feel the guys have delivered. I’m happy with their attitude.

“But the fight isn’t over yet and it’s important nobody takes their foot off the gas. The players understand the magnitude of the challenge.

“It’s no secret what I think about the need for continuity in the squad. There’s no real need to chop and change. I’m not here to give everyone a chance for charity. At the end of the day we’ve got an unbelievably tough task on our hands.”

TOM BRADSHAW

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