DIRECTOR of rugby Alan Solomons has blamed Worcester Warriors’ mounting injury toll for their inconsistent selection at fly-half and scrum-half this season.

Michael Dowsett and Dorian Jones became Warriors’ 12th different starting half-back pairing when they featured in the 30-15 defeat at Wasps at the weekend.

Jonny Arr and Jamie Shillcock have been the most consistent combination, starting seven times – although they have failed to string more than three matches together.

Shillcock, Tom Heathcote, Sam Olver, Ryan Mills, Jono Lance and Jones have all worn the number 10 jersey this term.

And there have been plenty of changes at scrum-half too with Arr, Peter Stringer, Dowsett, Luke Baldwin and Francois Hougaard given the starting shirt.

However Solomons insisted part of the problem was down to their run of injuries in the two positions.

“Francois has been out for a lot of the season (with an ankle problem) when he has tended to start in the past for the team,” Solomons said.

“Jonny was out for three months (with concussion) as you know and Luke is out (for the rest of the season) with an injury so the changes at nine have been of necessity.

“Jono played regularly for us until he had to return to Australia for Super Rugby, so he left. Ryan often filled in there but he is injured as well.

“So when you look at it, it has been the injury toll which has caused us that problem.”

He added: “I think all the half-backs are good but some of them haven’t been available.

“Sometimes you have injures.

“Look at the hooker situation. Niall Annett has been out all season and Joe Taufete’e has been out for a long period too.”

After impressing off the bench in the 27-13 win over Newcastle Falcons Dowsett and Jones replaced Arr and Shillcock respectively for the trip to Wasps.

But the duo failed to stop their side from slumping to defeat as Worcester remain nine points clear of the drop zone.

“I thought they did fine,” Solomons said.

“We were on the back foot for large periods of that game which makes it difficult when you are playing at nine and 10. They did nothing wrong.”

Warriors’ starting half-backs (number of appearances together).

1. Jonny Arr and Tom Heathcote (3).

2. Peter Stringer and Ryan Mills (1).

3. Jonny Arr and Jamie Shillcock (7).

4. Jonny Arr and Jono Lance (2).

5. Michael Dowsett and Tom Heathcote (1).

6. Luke Baldwin and Sam Olver (2).

7. Francois Hougaard and Jono Lance (4).

8. Michael Dowsett and Sam Olver (2).

9. Francois Hougaard and Sam Olver (2).

10. Francois Hougaard and Jamie Shillcock (4).

11. Michael Dowsett and Jamie Shillcock (1).

12. Michael Dowsett and Dorian Jones (1).