To be honest he has been average this year and hasnt looked up to it. That said im sure he is adjusting to the harder game but im yet to see anything that says start me.
Groom on the other hand has shown glimpses of brilliance when he gets the opportunity to be the playmaker rather than hooker. He is not a hooker and she be the half back straight up.
There are only 2 reasons i can see him being at hooker 1 is to improve his tackling and probably the one given, the second is to keep him at the club.
How long would a player with talent like that sit in PL for - there will surely be plenty of clubs after him when his contract expires. You dont want him leaving because he is stuck behind orford fot too long. Hence you delay his rise by a year and he isnt waiting very long at all.