Worcester Warriors players back in training at Sixways following coronavirus lockdown

June 16 2020
Worcester Warriors players back in training at Sixways following coronavirus lockdown

Worcester Warriors players have returned to training at Sixways for the first time for three months following the lockdown caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

All Premiership and Championship clubs have been permission to start Stage 1 of the Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance, which allows for individual conditioning - or groups of individuals conditioning - in a performance environment with strict social distancing maintained at all times.

The measures at Sixways include players training in small groups with staggered starts and a one-way system in operation through the High Performance Centre to the pitch then into the gym.

The new thermal screening system provided by Spookish Innovations, Warriors’ thermal screening supplier was also used for the first time.

The technology uses industrial  grade thermal cameras and intelligent machine learning to precisely measure temperatures at the inner corner of the eye – where the body temperature is most constant – to detect for fever which is a key indicator of coronavirus.

Warriors players also have a wellbeing app on their mobile phones which they have to complete before arriving for training each day.

“It’s really good to come back and see the boys, the energy was great,” said Warriors prop Ethan Waller, “It’s nice to train in a proper environment instead of in my shed.

“The training is similar to a normal pre-season except it’s a bit more condensed and intense because we have time slots that we have to get in and out. 

“The measures the club have put in place make you feel really safe coming back into the club.

“That was one of the big concerns for a lot of people because rugby is a contact sport but Gené Willis, our head of stadium operations and our managing director Peter Kelly and the Warriors staff have all done an outstanding job in getting this place as safe as it can be.

“You are probably a lot safer training here than you are going to the shops.

“The thermal screening technology is another aspect which makes you feel safe coming in. Safety is paramount.

“You don’t want to be coming here risking yourself and possibly bringing something back to your family and loved ones.

“We’ve got that and also a symptom checker so that if anything is wrong we go straight back home.”

Premiership Rugby has set a target date of August 15 for the resumption of the 2019/20 season.

The structure for the remainder of the 2019-20 season - for which the original date for the Premiership final was June 20 - will be released in due course.