CAPTAIN Jonathan Thomas believes Warriors’ relegation from the Aviva Premiership will make the club stronger in the long run.
The popular Welshman has had time to reflect on last season’s dismal showing that saw Worcester drop down into the Championship following just two wins from 22 matches.
While it was a dent to both his personal and professional pride, Thomas insists there is no point dwelling on the past and his only focus now is ensuring such an experience is never repeated at Sixways.
The skipper, 31, said: “Looking back at the end of the season and the Saracens game when we were officially relegated, it was a really bitter pill to swallow.
“I won’t lie, it was very disappointing and I went home and closed the curtains for a few days.
“As a rugby player and professional it’s in your very nature to want to win and succeed so to have had the season we had was very disappointing, there’s no getting away from that.
“But there comes a time when you need to draw a line under it, you have to accept it and move on. That’s what we’ve done as a team and what I’ve done as a person.
“The biggest thing you’ve got to do when you go through bad times is learn from them. Sometimes it’s no bad thing to go through tough times because it can bring people closer together.
“The group who have experienced that have got to ensure something like that never happens to this club again.”
Director of rugby Dean Ryan has overhauled the squad, with no fewer than 17 new faces arriving at Sixways this summer, as he continues to execute a long-term plan to bring sustained success to Worcester.
Skipper Thomas said: “There’s a lot of new guys, all under 26 and by the very nature of their age they’re all full of beans with a spring in their step and really keen to achieve.
“Everyone is really positive about the season. We didn’t plan on being in the Championship but what it has done is given the club a chance to start from a clean slate.
“I think it will be a challenging year, there will be lots of experiences that we won’t have had before but we’ve got to relish it and jump in with both feet.
“The biggest thing we’re trying to do at the moment as a club is to lay down foundations in terms of our environment and create a positive, hard-working philosophy with really good standards. An environment where people can thrive and want to be the best.
“The biggest thing you’ve got to do when you go through bad times is learn from them. Sometimes it’s no bad thing to go through tough times because it can bring people closer together.”
“If we get those building blocks in place now and continue that throughout the season and thereafter, hopefully that will take Warriors to the next few levels and hopefully the club and fans won’t have to experience that (relegation) again.”
Meanwhile, scrum-half Jeremy Su’a, 25, has left the club after playing 16 games in his one season at Sixways following last summer’s move from Canterbury Crusaders.
Hooker Agustin Creevy will captain Argentina in the forthcoming Rugby Championship, which starts on August 16, and is joined in a 26-man Pumas squad by Warriors back row Leonardo Senatore.