WARRIORS’ plans for next season have continued with the signing of experienced tighthead prop Conor Carey.
Warriors have plenty to play for this term, having booked a tie against Saracens for a place in the Premiership Rugby Cup final.
But the Sixways men have already got an eye on 2019-2020 and Carey will be joining from Pro-14 side Connacht on a two-year contract from the start of next season.
He will be an English qualified player as he was born in Ealing and he has previous experience of club rugby in England, having played for Ealing Trailfinders and Nottingham in the Greene King IPA Championship.
The 27-year-old was educated at Methodist College in Belfast and played club rugby for Ballymena and Ballynahinch and also represented Ulster at youth level where he played alongside current Warriors players Niall Annett and Michael Heaney.
“I have really enjoyed my time with Connacht but I’ve always wanted to play in the Premiership and to challenge myself up there, especially at scrum-time. The set-piece is something that I pride myself on,” Carey said.
“The facilities at Sixways are top class, some of the very best around. I chatted to Niall and Michael and they told me nothing but good things about the club.
“I worked with Neil Doak before and enjoyed that. Alan Solomons has also set his plans for the club and that’s something that really interests me and it’s something that I want to buy in to.”
Carey was an Ulster supported when Solomons coached the province and he has also played against sides coached by Warriors’ current director of rugby in the Pro-14 and twice in last season’s European Challenge Cup.
Solomons said: “We are delighted Conor has decided to join us here at Sixways. He is an experienced tighthead prop with a good pedigree, who prides himself on his scrummaging. I have no doubt that he will make his mark here at the club.”
Warriors will be bidding to reach their first domestic cup final in six years under the Sixways lights on Friday (kick off 7.45pm) when Premiership title challengers Saracens visit in the Premiership Rugby Cup semi-finals.
Solomons’ side booked their last-four place with a stunning 35-23 comeback win over Wasps which swept them to a dramatic bonus-point victory at Sixways.
Warriors needed to win by more than two points and with a try bonus point to finish as top seed but that appeared unlikely when Wasps full-back Rob Miller crossed six minutes into the second half to put the visitors 13-9 ahead.
But Warriors responded with four tries in a 15-minute purple patch, two from Bryce Heem and one apiece from Francois Venter and Ethan Waller.
The result took them beyond the last 16 of this competition, in its various guises, for the first time.
Warriors have the added incentive of knowing they will host the final against either Northampton Saints on Newcastle Falcons on March 17 if they can beat the Premiership champions.