DIRECTOR of rugby Alan Solomons hopes his “very cautious” approach to training this summer will see Worcester Warriors end their pre-season injury hoodoo.

Warriors have started the past two Premiership campaigns with a long casualty list after many players sustained blows in the build-up.

With less than a month to go before Worcester kick off the new season, Solomons was still wary of picking up injuries as they fly out to Italy with a 28-man squad for their first warm-up clash against Benetton tomorrow (7.30pm).

But Warriors’ boss stressed he would rather “err on the side of caution” in pre-season than risk heading into the league opener against Wasps at Sixways on Saturday, September 1, with an injury-hit side.

“We have been very cautious and conservative so it has not been too bad,” Solomons said.

“We have been careful in our management of the players. You would rather err on the side of caution than go into the start of the season with injuries.

“You can get injuries in your pre-season friendlies, let’s be perfectly honest about that. You don’t want to get a heap of injuries during the course of your training.”

Prop Ethan Waller (shoulder), centre Ben Te’o (quad) and wing Bryce Heem (quad) are sidelined but expected to be back fit in time to face Wasps.

Last summer, flankers Marco Mama, David Denton, Dewald Potgieter and Carl Kirwan, props Nick Schonert, Waller and Gareth Milasinovich, hooker Niall Annett, scrum-half Luke Baldwin, full-back Chris Pennell and centres Ryan Mills and Max Stelling were all hit by injuries ahead of the 2017-18 season.

“They did (pick up many injuries last year),” Solomons said. “I don’t know the detail but I think a lot of them came in the pre-season games as well and that can be just unfortunate.

“I think they lost seven players in one game. That’s not good but that’s the vagaries of the sport.

“We have worked the guys hard and it’s been a good pre-season but we have managed them well so I think we have taken the right approach.”

Solomons said he also felt his squad benefited from their week-long training camp in Valencia last month.

“It was fantastic,” Solomons said. “The facility, training pitches, gym, hotel and food were all excellent.

“We had the advantage of a swimming pool on site and were close to the beach as well so the downtime was good for the players.

“It was pretty hot so we ended up training in the morning with our field sessions starting at 7.30am.

“We then came back for breakfast, did our work in the gym and were pretty much done by lunchtime.

“There were also opportunities for the staff to hold meetings so it was a really good camp.”

Warriors’ pre-season opener is followed by a home match with Hartpury a week on Saturday (3pm) while there are also plans to face Birmingham Moseley.

“After the camp they got a week's break as it had been a really hard four-week slog,” Solomons added.

“We then had two tough weeks, working Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, to get in a lot of rugby detail and round off the conditioning phase.

“We are playing this week so we had our last practice session on Tuesday.

“We fly out (to Italy) today and will have a light captain’s run as well.”