Improving Worcester want seat at Europe’s top table
BRYCE Heem believes Worcester’s revivalists can target the Premiership top six – despite the off-field ‘shambles’ surrounding the club.
Stunning recent victories over Northampton and Leicester have renewed optimism at Sixways, with influential former Chiefs wing Heem and fit-again quartet Francois Hougaard, Will Spencer, Ryan Mills and Nick Schonert leading the charge.
Heem said: “I guess since I’ve been at Worcester things have been a bit of a shambles. We had Dean Ryan leave in the middle of pre-season last year and this year has been mixed up, with the club up for sale as well.
“Gary Gold’s leaving and Alan Solomons has come in, but throughout it the players have been the glue and we’re a positive bunch who keep each other going.
“The fact we stayed positive during a really tough start means we’re starting to see the rewards now. The middle of the table is cluttered and while we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, we can definitely challenge for that top six.”
Twenty-four tries in five matches before Friday’s defeat by Sale provides proof of Worcester’s recovery, with the influence of backs coach Sam Vesty shining through.
Heem explained: “Vesty’s a good young coach who wants to play exciting, running rugby and with our backs that suits us big time. Early in the season we were just looking to kick the ball away but now we bring a real running threat.
“Having players fit again has created a more competitive environment and in the last few games everyone’s stepped up a notch. Not many teams go to Leicester and get a ‘W’ so to score five tries and make Worcester history was awesome.”
Second row enforcer Will Spencer was summoned to England training last May.
Heem insists he is worth another look, adding: “It’s a very competitive spot with England but Will’s a hugely physical presence who’s so professional outside the training environment.
“He’s very driven, does all the extras, enjoys the rough and tumble and gets stuck in. We’re a much better team for having him.”