George Worth chats pre-season preparation, including an improved investment in the squad and their training base, new recruits and their positive impact, as well as sharing an insight in to changes for the trip away to Bath.
Our depth is much improved … those lads away are world class and all of us here are doing the best we can to keep building the energy
George Worth says a focused effort throughout the summer in bringing the squad closer together is showing signs of success early on in the new season.
Speaking after Leicester’s bonus-point victory over Exeter at Welford Road, Worth praised the efforts of the club’s coaches and management in refreshing the Oval Park training ground and providing opportunities for the new group to “bond” during the pre-season programme.
“Every team has had a long pre-season, everyone comes in to the games feeling like they are in the best shape they have ever been,” said Worth.
“But, for us, the club has invested a lot in us over the summer and our infrastructure.
“There is a really good feeling around the place and we’re all getting on really well.
“We have new, unbelievable changing rooms, a reasonably new squad and got the chance to go to Army Camp and Portugal which have helped us bond as a group.”
The squad is currently unable to select ten members of the 2019/20 squad, including nine away at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, and Worth believes the foundations being built by those in Leicester will bode well when the internationals return in November.
We didn’t get that many chances to show our attack out there, but we got a lot of chance to show our defence
Worth, who at just 22 is one of the more experienced members of the new-look Tigers squad, believes it has also offered up a chance for the less experienced players to take on more responsibility.
“Those sort of things make a difference and, with internationals away, other players have to step up and speak up,” he said.
“It’s all going to put us in a good place for when those guys at the World Cup return.”
One of those less experienced Tigers is new recruit Noel Reid, who boasts more than a century of appearances for Leinster, who has quickly become a leading voice in the Tigers changing room since his arrival from Dublin in the summer.
And Worth says Reid’s recruitment, alongside several other key players, has added much-needed depth to the squad.
“He was great and ran the show well out there tonight,” Worth said of Reid’s debut in the win over Exeter.
“As I said, with internationals away, people need to step up and Noel is one of those for us.
“He is a big leader already within this group, says all the right things and controls things well.
“Our depth is much improved … those lads away are world class and all of us here are doing the best we can to keep building the energy.”
Worth also gave a hint of changes to the side for the Round 3 trip to Bath, saying: “There will be another team that goes out to Bath next week and we’ve just got to focus on putting in a good performance, continuing the momentum and building towards the Premiership.”
There will be another team that goes out to Bath next week and we’ve just got to focus on putting in a good performance, continuing the momentum and building towards the Premiership
The Tigers fullback also believes that the victory over the Chiefs showed only a small part of the squad’s capabilities and believes there is plenty to come throughout the 2019/20 season after a long pre-season of refining and improving the plans.
“We know there a lot of wrongs that need putting right,” he said.
“The coaches have given us a good framework.
“We didn’t get that many chances to show our attack out there, but we got a lot of chance to show our defence.
“It’s a real tip to Blakey, the effort we showed tonight.”
As well as the side’s defensive efforts, Worth says there is even more to offer in attack despite recording a four-try, bonus-point win in the first home fixture of the campaign.
”We’re excited to showcase our attack a bit more when we get the chance,” said Worth.
“We executed well, we were patient and held on to the ball.”
Looking ahead to the trip to Bath, he added the focus was on continuing to build momentum and create a “winning habit” at the club.
“Losing becomes a habit and so too does winning, so we want to make a winning habit here at the club,” he said.