ULSTER: Warwick taking modern approach to prop role

Andy Warwick. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Andy Warwick. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Andy Warwick is developing his game to become a modern prop.

Gone are the days when a front rower’s only job was to lend their weight to the scrum.

Warwick has been very visible with ball in hand during Ulster’s last two games and it is one of the aspects of the game he is working hard on.

“I’ve been working hard,” confessed Warwick.

“Personally I haven’t had much of a go I’ve been working hard in training and trying to get round the pitch a lot better and I’m feeling good out there now.

“You see that with the performance of top international pros now have to be good at everything and I suppose it is something I have to work on to get me round the pitch a lot better.”

“You look at the Irish internationals like Cian Healy and the way he carries but he is probably a different player to me.

“Tadgh Furlong the way he carries and gets round the pitch is pretty impressive, you try and get to their level as much as you can.”

The Ballymena prop is also working on his efforts at the breakdown.

“If it comes my way, you don’t want to be going in every time and shortening the line, if it’s there you get over the ball and try to steal it,” he added.

Ulster slipped to fourth in the Guinness PRO14 Conference B table after losing with the last kick of the game to Edinburgh.

“To lose on the final whistle is never easy to take but the defensive performance was very good,” said Warwick.

“We were getting off the line a lot better and with the amount of possession they had it was always going to be difficult.”

“One of the main things was the forwards helping out the nine for the box kick, it was just about organisation around that and protecting a little bit, Jono is always pretty tough he has to be.

“I think aspects of the game were really good but just our exits and restarts just wasn’t good enough on the night and we’ll work on that this week to make it right.”

Ulster travel to the Scarlets on Saturday night eight points behind the Welsh region who have lost their last two games.

It is an important game in Conference B with Ulster looking to close the gap - and if Edinburgh were to lose against Dragons - regain third place.

“We’re definitely ready for it and training has been really good.

“We’re ready for them to fling the ball about and we have been working on our units to get round the pitch.

“I think they haven’t lost a game at home in the league since 2016, it’s a difficult place to go hopefully we’ll just go there put a shift in and hope for the best.

“I just try to do my job the best I can do and hopefully it will look after itself.

“We work week to week and hopefully it will come together at the end of the season.”

Warwick has made 14 appearances this season but only four have been starts and the loose head puts that down to a slow start.

Warwick admitted:

“At the start of the year I know personally I let myself down a bit but I think I have trained real hard and hopefully that is starting to show on the pitch.

“I suppose it all comes from training, you have to be 100% in every training and that is something I have learned this year to be in contention to be better.”