PAUL Warwick has avoided serious injury after being stretchered off against Sale and rushed to hospital.

There was concern for the Warriors fly-half’s well-being when he went down with a neck injury on the hour-mark at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.

The Amlin Challenge Cup clash, which the hosts won 21-3, was halted for around 18 minutes while the former Munster and Stade Francais play-maker received treatment on the pitch, before he was loaded onto a stretcher and taken to hospital.

However, the 33-year-old Australian has since confirmed he suffered no long-term damage and even made it to Kingsholm to watch Munster’s 20-7 win over Gloucester in the Heineken Cup on Saturday.

Warwick tweeted: “Really appreciate all the concern! Very much precaution I think, but as always thank you to all involved in taking care of me.

“Thanks again for the messages. I will be hobbling over to Kingsholm, best of luck @Munsterrugby.”

Worcester director of rugby Dean Ryan added: “Paul is pretty sore, but there was nothing on his CAT scan.

“We just need to be careful that he doesn’t get any swelling around the neck area in the next few days.

“Most of it was precautionary as we were concerned about his neck.

“I spoke to him in the ambulance and he was pretty comfortable and was feeling a lot better, but we needed to get everything scanned.

“He felt he was 30 seconds away from getting back up and going to stand at 15 again, but the medics weren’t that happy.

“He was talking and fine when he went off to hospital, but that is the nature of neck injuries — they look very serious, but that’s because we do all we can to make sure they’re not serious.”

With Warriors unable to progress in the competition and the Aviva Premiership clearly of much higher importance, Ryan opted to make 11 changes to his side and handed opportunities to some of his up-and-coming youngsters.

Ryan added: “I spoke to our young lads afterwards and I felt Josh Watkins was really good.

“We have done that every time in this competition — sometimes we’ve got away with it and they have excelled.

“However, we were up against a front-end Sale side, knowing they had a great chance of qualifying, so we said we’d put some youngsters out there and give them a great chance to learn.

“That’s the nature of it, we recognise the areas we came second in and we will grow from it.”