With 20 players gone, Worcester create new role to aid recruitment
Fresh from releasing 20 players from their roster for the upcoming 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership season, Worcester have appointed Simon Norris as their first-ever recruitment analyst in the hope that they can start moving on from their twelfth place finish in last season’s league campaign.
That finish at the bottom on the Premiership would in previous seasons have resulted in the Warriors dropping into the Championship, but a moratorium has been placed on relegation to allow struggling clubs such as Worcester to get their house in better order to ensure they are more competitive when the trapdoor is reopened in 2024 with that year’s bottom Premiership club taking on the Championship winners in a playoff.
Norris has arrived at Sixways from Bristol Bears where he was Pat Lam’s senior performance analyst having previously spent seven years at Exeter as their head performance analyst. The Welsh Rugby Union level three coach has also worked at Scarlets and Dragons in his native Wales.
Worcester boss Jonathan Thomas is hoping his fellow countryman will now unearth talented players below the Premiership and in leagues across the world who can be nurtured and developed by Warriors.
“Part of our vision is to develop home-grown players but the recruitment of players from outside our Academy is as important,” said Thomas on the Worcester club website. “Our signing of Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland are both big statements of where we want to go, but underneath that there are also players that we have signed from the Championship like Kyle Hatherell, Jack Johnson and Jay Tyack.
"There are 20 players leaving the club at the end of the season… that has certainly been really tough, some tough conversations"@JonThom82 on the work behind the scenes & the hard calls needed as they rebuild @WorcsWarriors squad, writes @heagneyl ???https://t.co/gjCIa18pmc
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 9, 2021
“But it’s not just about X-factor players. It’s about being smart with our recruitment and uncovering the little gems that are always out there. They may be late developers or players that have stagnated at another club or whose development is being blocked by other players. Simon has good knowledge of the game. He is a very hard worker and his remit will be to take our recruitment to another level.
“He will be looking at the Championship and other leagues around the world and because he is an analyst as well, he can bring good data to the role. We are excited about his appointment and, like all aspects of the rugby department, we are looking to take each to another level.”
Nic Berry, who was the focus of the infamous Rassie Erasmus Lions series video, has also been given his first Test refereeing appointment since whistling the Springboks on July 24
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 26, 2021
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now