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Stratford-upon-Avon working towards 'complete performance'

Stratford-upon-Avon Rugby Club's director of rugby Tom Rance.
Stratford-upon-Avon Rugby Club's director of rugby Tom Rance.

DIRECTOR of rugby Tom Rance says Stratford-upon-Avon are not looking for an immediate revolution to turn their fortunes around, declaring: “This is a long-term project.”

Over the festive period the players have had a balance of training sessions and rest ahead of Saturday’s trip to mid-table Oxford Harlequins.

Although Stratford sit rock bottom of the South West One East table as the second half of the season comes to fruition, Rance admitted he was not overly concerned by getting results, stressing performances come first.

“The results take care of themselves but in terms of developing this squad, it’s about working to that complete performance,” he said.

“I understand people want results but they come with the performance.

“It’s not about revolution. This is a long- term thing where in time, we will be winning by margins as opposed to points.

“The lads have had a nice rest over Christmas but that has been balanced with some training sessions and everybody is ready to go.”

Rance is also keen to see an improvement from the 23-7 home defeat to high-flying Old Centralians prior to the Christmas break.

“If we can build on from the OCs game then we are heading in the right direction,” he added.

“Looking at it critically, there is a lot more time we can spend developing our work patterns.

“However, once we get more time with the players on the training ground, we will see improvements which will correlate onto the pitch.

“We’ve now got a run of games where we will be looking to turn this season around.

"It’s a massive cliche but the second half of the season is where you make your money.

“However, the lads are under no pressure and I am sure they can get the right results going forward.”

Rance is expecting to have a full-strength squad at his disposal for the Oxford clash, a side which reminds him of the team he currently manages.

"They remind me of the Stratford side from around three to four seasons ago,” he said.

“They are a smaller side which likes to move the ball around well and are a fun team to watch for the neutral.

“They couple that, though, with big carriers and experienced lads and it’s a welcome challenge for us.

“We’re looking forward to it but I am not concerned with results right now.

“Right now it is about performance levels and if we can progress from the OCs game, then we’re doing something right.”

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