THE DEPARTURE of Edward Griffiths has been a “big loss” for Worcester Warriors to deal with, according to centre Jackson Willison.

Griffiths ended his role as a consultant three weeks ago after more than eight months working behind the scenes at Sixways.

The former Saracens chief executive has now formed a consortium with "funding and expertise" to run Warriors who are looking for a new investor.

Director of rugby Gary Gold has previously spoken highly of what Griffiths brought to the club, insisting he played a “significant” role in helping Worcester avoid relegation last term.

And Willison has also hailed Griffiths’ “team-first mantra” after being appointed in January to work on a short-term project to review the club’s rugby operations.

“I quite enjoyed Ed,” said the 29-year-old New Zealander.

“He was a voice for the players.

“I think he got stuff done around Sixways and was a positive.

“He really brought a team-first mantra, so he has definitely been a big loss.

“But Gary and the staff have picked it up and tried to continue his work.

“It has been a few weeks (since Griffiths left), so with the results and everything else it is really hard to think about it, but it is still a big loss.”

Speculation has been growing over Warriors’ future after it emerged the club reportedly lost more than £16million over the last three seasons.

Owners Sixways Holdings Limited are understood to be looking to sell Aviva Premiership’s bottom team by the end of the year.

But Willison insisted all the rumours surrounding the club had not altered the mood in the camp as they bid to claim their first win of the 2017/18 campaign.

“I can understand all the chat,” Willison added.

“Personally I don’t think it does (affect players) as we still arrive at training with the intention of working hard and getting things right for the weekend.”