No escape from fitness coach Johnston for ex-Saint van Velze

GJ van Velze
GJ van Velze

GJ van Velze admits Nick Johnston hasn’t changed after being reunited with the notoriously tough fitness guru at Worcester.

Van Velze left Saints for Warriors this summer, linking up with his new team-mates last Monday as preparations for life in England’s second tier begin.

Also lying in wait at Sixways was Johnston, who spent five years as performance director at Franklin’s Gardens before exiting last October.

He was renowned for a stringent regime that would get his players to peak fitness ahead of the new campaign - and van Velze says nothing is new now Johnston is at Worcester.

“He hasn’t changed, let me tell you that,” laughed South African No8 van Velze, who left Saints after spending two successful seasons at the club.

“Nick did awesomely with Northampton and helped them get to where they are now so hopefully he can put us in the correct mindset and structures so we can push on.

“Hopefully we can do what Northampton did because they were relegated and they came back.

“You can’t top the hard work they put in and all the success they are having now is down to that.”