Dean Hammond has spent the last two weeks focusing on his studies as much as rugby but with the return of Aviva Premiership Rugby, the winger has turned all his attention to helping Worcester Warriors push up the table.
Not involved in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, Hammond took advantage of his time off to put in work on a surveying course with the long-term ambition of becoming a quantity surveyor.
But it’s been back to his main priority this week however, with a huge Friday night clash against Northampton Saints next on the agenda.
He said: “It’s been a busy couple of weeks, taking the time to study. I spend a lot of time during the week on it so that I can have more time at the weekends for the rugby.
“We’re really excited to be back out there this week, especially on a Friday night at Sixways in front of the home fans.
“The atmosphere for those Friday night games is always amazing so I’m really looking forward to it.
“It will be difficult against Northampton, they are a very good team who have a good pack and move it around quite a bit as well.
“We have to try to curb that as much as possible and play our own style.”
It’s been a tricky start to the season for Worcester, who sit 11th in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table after seven matches.
The biggest issue has come in the final quarter of matches, with draws against both Gloucester Rugby and Sale Sharks both coming as big leads were eroded away.
Hammond and the club are well-aware of that problem, but believes it is something that they can turn around.
And as the Warriors aim for a more expansive style under new coach Carl Hogg, the 23-year-old winger is relishing his time at Sixways.
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He added: “A lot of where we are has been down to closing out games. At the end of matches we’ve let a couple slip away. We have to avoid any complacency and keep going all the way through the games, not just for the first 60 minutes.
“If you look at the draws against Gloucester and Sale, those are two that we feel we should have closed out. We’re aware of it though and doing everything we can to solve those problems.
“We’ve not changed too much from last year in terms of our style, but we are trying to be a bit more expansive. It gives the guys out wide a few more opportunities, so it’s good for me.
“It’s always nice to get your hands on the ball. But we know that it all starts with the forwards, we need to win those battles before we can worry about anything else.”