No singing at Sixways as James Peacock discovers the Premiership strugglers trying an alternative form of team bonding.
There was a time at rugby clubs when the term 'team building' was simply an excuse for extensive drinking sessions. At some, it probably still is.
Such choral and primitive bonding processes are usually led by the club captain who will stand on a bar stool and compose daft songs. It is perhaps a sign of the times that such an amateurish approach to developing togetherness has no place within the professional ranks of the game; players' stringent dietary requirements alone would not allow such excessive behaviour today.
But there is a modern-day equivalent and it was being tried out at Worcester yesterday. A company called Leading Teams, whose website says they "deliver teamwork and leadership programs for elite sporting organisations", arrived at Sixways to help add that extra sometimes vital one per cent to the Warriors' performance. There was not a guitar in sight.
"There's something a bit different going on this week," explained director of rugby Mike Ruddock. "This company which has come in has been very successful in the southern hemisphere with sporting teams, particularly in rugby league, union and cricket and the guy who is leading the operation worked last season with Greg Rawlinson and Sam Tuitupou at the Auckland Blues.
"The team was struggling a little bit at the time and this company came in and helped them to create a trademark that the players bought into and it helped them to a semi-final in the Super-14. We are hoping for a similar sort of impact in this country."
Time will tell whether Ruddock will be credited for his willingness to look at new ways to improve his side's performance, or derided for clutching at straws.
The Australian-founded company's representatives arrived at Sixways the week after international referee Wayne Barnes was asked to visit the club in order to clarify the sport's rules to the Warriors' ill-disciplined players.
No bets are being taken on when the powers of Glenn Hoddle's faith-healer, Eileen Drewery, will be called upon to help Worcester try to secure their second Premiership victory of the season: regular visitors to Sixways could do with having some of their faith restored.
But for all the sniping and cynicism, the coach believes that any extra advantage that can be found in games decided by such small margins is worth a try.
He was quick to point out that the day was not simply about motivational speaking or supervising his players in some fatuous team-based exercise involving building blocks or role-play.
Ruddock added: "There's more to it than meets the eye. Basically, they are going through everything we do with a fine toothcomb; examining our culture, examining our behaviour and our general standards from the training ground and on to the pitch.
"They are helping us to create a trademark that we want to have associated with ourselves and that we believe in. It is about examining what we are good at and what we are not so good at not necessarily in rugby matters, because that is where the coaches come into it but the whole set-up. We are looking for that one per cent to make a difference and we are hoping that this will do it.
"If you look back to the game on Friday night, it was that one per cent that lost us the match, so if we can find that somewhere in order to get us a result, then that is what we will do."
With a run of games including Sale, Leicester, Leeds and Gloucester coming up in succession, one suspects a 15 per cent improvement would be closer to what Ruddock's side will need in order to avoid getting dragged further into the mire, although he was content with aspects of his team's 12-11 defeat to London Irish on Friday night; the fact that the Warriors scored the only try of the game being the most notable.
He said: "The positives were that we improved as a team [from defeat at Harlequins] and we were unlucky not to get the result on the night.
"There's always pressure whether you are trying to get into Europe or playing in a dogfight like we are. But if we just concentrate on the pressure, then that means we will get anxious and we will go out and play poorly.
"That is not what we want we want to go out and play some good rugby. At times, I thought there was some excellent rugby played by us on Friday night and we want to build on that."