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London Welsh are in promotion mix - Richard Hill

Richard Hill
Richard Hill is looking for an overall improvement in performance levels

Worcester Warriors head coach Richard Hill says London Welsh are genuine promotion contenders this season.

Hill takes his Championship leaders to Old Deer Park on Sunday to take on an Exiles side currently in fourth.

He told BBC Hereford and Worcester: "Apart from ourselves they have got the best team on paper in the Championship and have a good coaching staff.

"They employ a press defence system and have been doing it for a couple of years while we are two months into it."

The Warriors conceded four tries in their home match against Nottingham last time out and Hill was not happy with the team's showing despite their eventual 35-28 victory.

While he accepts the team is far from the finished article he is not unduly concerned as he feels the format of the Championship means it is important not to peak too soon.

We are doing a lot more full-on work and trying to replicate matches during the week

Worcester Warriors head coach Richard Hill

"I always said it was going to take a longer time for us to really click," he said.

"We don't have to hit our best form in October and November and if we were playing sparkling, scintillating rugby now I would be very concerned.

"Because we would all know what would happen then - we would turn up to the play-offs in March and would think it was a formality that we were going to go out there and thrash people.

"The good thing from my point of view is that players are working really hard now."

Hill admits a couple of lacklustre performances in the home games against Cornish Pirates and Nottingham means he and his fellow coaches might well have to change their approach to training.

"We will have to revise our thinking and get a referee in so we can play firsts against seconds or the Academy," he said.

"We are doing a lot more full-on work and trying to replicate matches during the week.

"It's a bit uncomfortable for the players as they like to save themselves for the [match] physicality.

"That's all well and good if we are producing the physicality and skills under pressure at the weekend.

"But everyone has got to understand if those skills aren't being performed under pressure then we have got to replicate those situations during the week."

There will be full commentary on Worcester's match at London Welsh on 104 FM and online on Sunday, 7 November from 1400 GMT.



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