WORCESTER Warriors lock Will Spencer has called team-mate Donncha O’Callaghan a “model professional” and “infectious”, writes TOM SARGENT.
Spencer joined Worcester last year from rivals Bath and has made 15 appearances, scoring two tries.
The Worcester lock has revealed how much of a positive impact O’Callaghan has made on him.
“It’s been brilliant for me,” said Spencer.
“Donncha is a legend. I don’t tell him too often but it’s a bit of an honour to be next to him in the second row because of what he has achieved in the game,” he said.
“The difference he makes on match-days is significant. He’s a leader, the way he speaks and leads on the pitch, you know he is going to empty himself on the pitch.
“When you see guys like that, it’s infectious. Looking around and seeing him beat me around the corner drags the best out of me.
“He gives nothing less than 110 per cent every week and it’s brilliant to have out there.”
O’Callaghan moved to Sixways in September 2015 after 17 seasons with Irish side Munster where he won two European Champions Cups and two Pro12 titles.
O'Callaghan has represented Ireland 94 times along with four appearances for the British and Irish Lions.
The teetotal O’Callaghan is still going strong at 38 but this is no surprise to Spencer.
“It’s no accident Donncha is playing at 38 years old,” said Spencer.
“He’s constantly doing extras whether it’s stretching or cryotherapy or he’s first in and last out.
“There’s a lot for me to learn on how he stays there. He lives an incredibly healthy lifestyle, doesn’t drink and lives with Matt Cox.
“I’ve been around their house for some evening meals and they cook very well. He’s a model professional and it works massively for him.”
Spencer has also spoken about the impact made by Gary Gold, who arrived as Warriors’ director of rugby at the end of January.
Gold and Spencer previously worked together at Bath.
“We don’t know where Gary’s future lies at the moment but he’s had such a positive impact,” said Spencer.
“Worcester is a big club - this is a top-six club with all the facilities we’ve got, the fans and I believe it’s a top-six squad.
“We haven’t shown it enough this season but going forward everyone wants to make this a big club pushing for the top six.
“Since the turn of year we are on an upward wave and it feels like we’re going in the right direction.
“Survival was our aim this season but we don’t want to be in the same position again and we will be doing everything possible to try to make sure we’re not.”