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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Saturday, December 30th 2017

Hurrell aiming to add finesse to firepower after extending Bristol stay

Barnstorming centre, Will Hurrell is out to add finesse to his firepower and become an ‘all-round player’, after committing his future to Bristol Rugby.

The 27-year-old – who this week signed a two-year extension to his deal – says he is working relentlessly to take his game to the next level, and believes the current setup is the perfect environment for him to progress.

“I’ve always enjoyed myself here,” said Hurrell. “Even with last season being such a tough one, I was still enjoying it.

“We’ve got a good bunch of boys here and with Pat coming in with a really good vision of the way he wants it to be, it’s good to be part of that.

“I’ve got a lot to work on, but the coaching setup is really good and they are helping me improve as a player and try and get to where I need to be.”

Hurrell was Bristol’s standout player in an otherwise disappointing Premiership campaign last season, impressing with his ball carrying potency and abrasive defensive work. And although keen to play to his strengths, the former Leicester Tigers and Doncaster Knights man is eager to enhance his all-round game.

Hurrell on his way to the try line against London Scottish earlier this season (JMP UK).

“I’ve always been good at what I do, but with the way Pat wants to play, it’s just about developing my skills and becoming more of an all-round player,” he said.

“I’m getting there, but there’s still a lot of hard work required and I know there’s stuff I still need to learn and keep practising. It’s stuff that I practise every day to try and get to where I need to be.

“My passing and my kicking is coming on, so I need to keep working on that, but it’s also my decision making around ball-playing – taking it to the line, knowing when to give it early, different things like that.

“Those are the things we practise every day in training and I do extra work afterwards as well, so I just want to keep developing those skills.”

“I’ve always been good at what I do, but with the way Pat wants to play, it’s just about developing my skills and becoming more of an all-round player.”

Will Hurrell

Hurrell believes he has benefitted immensely from working under the club’s new coaching setup - as well as from playing alongside the wealth of talent and experience in the backline, past and present - as he bids to become first choice in BS3, whether wearing number 12 or number 13. 

“I think in the way we play, they are very similar (12 and 13),” he said. “There’s a bit more onus on twelve to be a bit more of a ball player, so I’ve got to make sure I can play either role, but I’m comfortable playing both positions. I’m happy to play anywhere.

“I want to develop myself into the player that I need to be. I want to push to start every game and just try and be the best player I can be. The setup here is perfect for me to do that."

Will Hurrell flattens Sale's Will Addison at Ashton Gate last season (JMP UK).

“What we’ve done really well is broken the skills down into really tiny details. We started that in pre-season and we’ve built it up. Now, when we do the drills, we do them with a real focus on the detail.”

That detail is where Hurrell knows his focus must lie, while maintaining the destructive style that has made him such a firm fan favourite at Ashton Gate. Like anything with Hurrell, it’s a challenge he will meet head on, and Bristol supporters can now look forward to two more years of the ‘Hurrell-cane’ in BS3.