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Gillies signs on for a 12th campaign with Worcester Warriors
WARRIORS stalwart Craig Gillies will extend his Worcester career into a 12th season after being handed a new one-year contract.
The long-serving lock, who has made 287 appearances for the Sixways club, has impressed Richard Hill this term and the head coach is delighted to have retained the 36-year-old’s services.
Gillies, who is the leading appearance maker at the club in the modern era after beating the previous record of 222 held by Tony Windo, is the final piece in Hill’s second row jigsaw for next season and will continue to compete with Dean Schofield, Chris Jones and James Percival.
Hill said: “Craig has been a tremendous servant for this club and, for my mind, is playing just as well now as he was 10 years ago.”
Meanwhile, Hill revealed he is hoping to finalise the signing of a first-choice loosehead prop to replace Wasps-bound Matt Mullan this week.
“The loosehead situation will be resolved shortly,” added Hill. “We’ve got Paul Andrew coming in from Cornish Pirates, but we’ll be looking for one more and hopefully that will be announced in the next few days.
“We have completed all the centres for next term, the outside-halves, tighthead props and the locks, now Craig has signed, are also done.
“We’ve got a bit of work to do on the back row, loosehead and hooker, though, and possibly some work on the number nine, but 10s are done, which probably leaves a spot for one more back three player — a utility-back.
“We’re reasonably far down the line, but there are probably still five or six positions to be completed.”
Hill has almost a clean bill of health in his squad ahead of Saturday’s return to Aviva Premiership action at London Irish (3pm).
The Warriors chief said: “Out of a squad of 36 players, we have 34 who are fit.
“Apart from George Porter, who has had a shoulder operation, and Errie Classens (knee), the others are fit.
“That brings Chris Jones and Semisi Taulava into contention and the likelihood is they will be on the bench on Saturday.”