JAMIE Shillcock says he hopes his injury troubles are behind him as he looks to make Worcester Warriors’ fly-half slot his own.

The talented 20-year-old will make his first start for Warriors in three months today when they host Connacht in the European Challenge Cup (3pm).

And the academy graduate is determined to seize his opportunity after another “frustrating” spell on the sidelines.

Shillcock put together a run of three successive games in the number 10 shirt before being forced to undergo knee surgery in mid-October.

It was the second time the former Warwick School student went under the knife last year after suffering a torn cartilage in his knee in February.

But Shillcock, who has come off the bench in three of Warriors’ last four games, said he felt he was back to full fitness and ready to stake his claim.

“To have surgery for the second time was frustrating,” Shillcock said.

“I felt like I was getting back into it and was trying to cement my place but it flared up again.

“My knee wasn’t right so the operation needed doing. It was just unfortunate timing and annoying as I’ve had to try to work my way back in again.

“As you can see I am no longer wearing all the strapping so I feel a lot more comfortable.

“Hopefully now I can get a run of games together and push to get my place back.”

Shillcock replaces 23-year-old Sam Olver who started in Warriors’ Aviva Premiership defeats to Saracens and Bath.

The duo are Worcester’s only fit out-and-out fly-halves with Tom Heathcote ruled out with concussion until April and Jono Lance returning to Australia with a broken hand.

But Shillcock said he and Olver were enjoying battling it out for the starting berth.

“Sam is tough and works really hard on and off the pitch,” Shillcock said.

“We are both young guys and are trying to learn the game.

“Obviously you are always pushing for places but it’s a friendly rivalry.

“Sam and I get on really well and understand how each other wants to play. If we are training against each other we know what each other is going to do so it works well.”

Shillcock was at fault for Bath’s fifth try as his kick was charged down by Kahn Fotuali’i who dotted down for the first of his two scores in their 46-25 victory at Sixways last Friday.

But the stand-off said Warriors had drawn a line in the sand and were desperate to do themselves justice against Pool Five leaders Connacht.

Worcester are aiming to progress to the knockout stages in the competition for the first time since 2009 as they sit in second position with two games left. 

“We weren’t at the races against Bath and they beat us at everything,” Shillcock added.

“There were a few strong words said afterwards but we have worked on the things we didn’t get right and will be ready for Connacht.

“We know they are going to be direct and they’ve got some talented players in midfield who are strong and physical.

“But we will be prepared for whatever comes at us.”