Born in Nigeria, growing up in Zimbabwe then moving to England, Marco Mama knows what it’s like to move around.
His experience at Worcester Warriors on the field has mirrored that nomadic existence as he shifts across the back row, but the 24-year-old believes it will only help him as a player.
And having an experienced campaigner like Phil Dowson, who has done similar throughout his career in Aviva Premiership Rugby, Mama admits he couldn’t ask for a better mentor.
“I’ve been used in various positions across the back row, from six to seven to eight, so that has taken some getting used to,” explained Mama.
“Previously I’ve been used more at six so I’ve had to work on my skills and getting up to speed in the key aspects of being an openside.
“It’s not enough to be able to play all three positions, you have to be able to excel in them.
“Long term I will probably be a six or a seven, so this year I’ve worked a lot on my work at the breakdown and defensively.
“If I’m used at seven, I will have to improve there and it can only help my game.
“It’s fantastic to have someone like Phil Dowson who has been playing at this level for years and is captaining us at the moment.
“He’s really helped me as a player, and guys like him, Donncha O’Callaghan and Wynand Olivier have made a really big difference and given us the experience we needed.”
Worcester came away from their last Aviva Premiership Rugby encounter at Bath Rugby with a point, going down 21-14 at the Rec.
But while a point at last year’s finalists is more than many teams will manage, Mama knows they can do better and feels they have to step it up to achieve their goals.
“There was certainly a feeling of frustration after the Bath game because it’s probably occurred a few times now,” he added.
“If you look at the Leicester game and the Gloucester match, there are a few that we could have got more from.
“But that’s the difference in the Premiership. That’s how competitive it is so the tiny details are even more important.
“It’s a step up and every game is huge. When you play a team below you in the league, there is huge pressure to win, but then you play a team above you and it’s an opportunity to close the gap.
“We’re learning and we’ve bridged the gap in some areas but we still need to work on some areas and grow as a team.”
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