Descriptions of Richard Hill’s management style as headmasterly are not unheard of in rugby circles, yet Ollie Frost might have provided the piece of evidence that cements his head coach’s reputation – a homework diary.
The youngster, whose meteoric rise from fringe academy player to integral first team squad member has been one of the success stories of Worcester’s Championship campaign, has revealed the former England scrum-half demands from his No 9s complete extensive skills sessions on top of their regular training.
And to make sure they have done it, he makes Frost and team-mates Andy Williams and Louis Silver record everything from the number of passes to box kicks.
“He used to have a huge work rate when he was a player and he demands that of us,” Frost said. “We have to improve our skills, every day we have to fill out a skills diary for him – like a bit of homework.
“We try and aim for 200 passes each day off both hands. [Academy coach] Gary Meechan takes those sessions then we have to do a certain amount of box kicks which we set ourselves.
“If some of the boys are tired from the weekend, it might be tapered down a little bit. It’s all about improving the aspects of the bread and butter of the scrum-half’s game.”
And while some players might object to such a prescriptive regime, Frost recognises Hill, who won 29 caps for his country in the 1980s, has his players’ best interests at heart.
“Whatever his feedback is to me I will take on board, his knowledge of the game in my position is crucial,” the 21-year-old said.
“He tells me after each game what I have done well and what I need to go away and improve on. It’s really good that I have got that feedback from him.
“He comes out and does some passing and kicking sessions and his understanding of my position and what he wants us to do is really key. He will tell us before a game ‘I want you to play like this’. It all builds up my knowledge of the position.”
And no-one can argue that process isn’t having a positive effect on Frost. The youngster, who barely saw the light of day during Mike Ruddock’s relegation -haunted days, has been the discovery of the season so far.
He has played eight games, including two starts, and has already signed a contract that will keep him at Sixways for the next two years.
“His support has been really good and I would not be in this position without him giving me this chance and saying back in August that it was going to be a fair game.”