Tom Heathcote set to continue giving his all for Worcester Warriors this term
Tom Heathcote put his body on the line to lift Worcester Warriors past London Irish last time out to ensure a far smoother run in between now and the end of the current Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign.
With four rounds remaining, Worcester have now all-but guaranteed that they will be dining at English rugby’s top table next season, but Heathcote insists he and his teammates will continue to give their all to prove a point ahead of next term.
Despite struggling with a shoulder injury for most of the match, Heathcote kicked four penalties to lead the Warriors past London Irish 12-6 last time out.
This was a fourth successive win for Worcester and means they are 16 points clear of bottom side London Irish and 12 ahead of 11th-placed Newcastle Falcons with just four rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby action remaining.
With London Irish and Newcastle Falcons still to play each other once more, you could excuse Worcester Warriors fans for breathing a huge sigh of relief and coasting into the end of the season.
But fly-half Heathcote insists no one in a Warriors shirt will be doing that as they look to ride the crest of this wave until the end of the campaign.
“I was really happy to be included last weekend and to kick the points,” he said. “It was tough for me picking up the injury and with Lamby (Ryan Lamb) picking up the injury I knew I would have to stay on.
“So it was a tough one to get through and I am just happy that I managed it and that we were able to keep our winning run going.
“In terms of the wins we have put together in March, they have all be great but the one against London Irish might have been the most important for what it meant with them bottom and coming into it off the back of a win.
“But we are not completely safe just yet so we don’t want to take our foot off the gas.
“Also, it is not about that for us as we don’t want to just merely survive. For us now it is about putting down a marker against the bigger sides in this league and showing what we can do.
“This run is great but we all thought that we were never that far away from it and it is just frustrating that if it had happened earlier we might be in a better position.
“So from here on out we are pretty much playing the top four until the end of the season and we want to show what we can do.”
The month of March has seen Worcester Warriors beat Sale Sharks, Gloucester Rugby, Harlequins and London Irish to give themselves some breathing space.
And Heathcote is adamant the confidence gained from the first victory against Sale snowballed into their current form.
“The win against Sale was massive for us and the start of all this,” he added. “We knew we weren’t far away and that is when it all clicked.
“We gained so much confidence from that win and then we were able to take that into the other games and get the result there too.
“Confidence is a massive thing in this league and we want to continue to show that before the end of the season.”
If you want to be at the world's biggest club rugby final, this year's Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May, tickets are still available from premiershiprugby.com/final.