WORCESTER Warriors have been rocked by injuries to skipper Jonathan Thomas and fly half Ryan Lamb who are set for lengthy spells on the sidelines.
Lamb is expected to be out of action for three months after undergoing surgery on his neck, while director of rugby Dean Ryan revealed Thomas had picked up a “serious calf problem” in pre-season, which he said would rule him out for “some time”.
Ryan said Warriors would also be without summer signings Andries Pretorius, who has sustained a calf injury, and Ryan Mills, who has had an operation on his left knee.
The news, which was revealed after Worcester’s 26-6 defeat to Exeter Chiefs last Friday, comes just days before Warriors begin their Greene King IPA Championship campaign with a trip to Bristol on Sunday (2.40pm).
But Ryan believes his side’s performances in pre-season, which included a victory over Ospreys, have proved they have players who can step into their shoes.
“It does not make it easy that we don’t have Thomas, Lamb, Mills and Pretorius, but it is what it is and we have got to back this group who are ready to go,” he said.
“I have been delighted with the people that I wanted to come in and take their chances. Christian Scotland-Williamson was playing in National One last year and he went up against Exeter and looked pretty physical.
“Also, we lost (Nick) Schonert, which hurt us, so I put Mike Daniels up against Premiership scrummaging for the second week in a row. He had a tough day, but that’s part of his learning.
“You can see how much this group wants to do something. They are as physical a Worcester side I can remember against one of the most physical running sides in the Premiership.
“Eventually we ran out of steam and eventually we got out-thought but that’s a lot of people working really hard and I am pleased with that.”