WORCESTER Warriors flanker Carl Kirwan hopes his loan move to Ealing Trailfinders will put him in the “shop window” as he bids to play in the Gallagher Premiership next season.

Kirwan has joined the Greene King IPA Championship club for the rest of the campaign and is aiming to resurrect his career after going through “hell and back” over the past two years.

The 27-year-old returned to first-team action in December – exactly 24 months after sustaining the first of two serious shoulder injuries.

But with his current deal at Warriors due to expire this summer Kirwan has another battle on his hands and is desperate to stay in England’s top flight.

“I want to be back in a Premiership side, whether that’s at Worcester or somewhere else,” Kirwan told The Rugby Paper.

“I want to be playing week-in, week-out at the highest level against some of the best players in the world.

“That’s my driver, that’s my focus and I still believe I can do it.

“I’ve come to Ealing to put myself in the shop window and prove that I’m still a good player.

“I’ve really been to hell and back over the last two years but, one way or the other, I’m determined to be a Premiership player next season.”

Kirwan damaged his right shoulder in an Anglo-Welsh Cup clash at Dragons in December 2016. After undergoing surgery his shoulder became infected and “screws began falling out”.

It took the former London Welsh captain 14 months before launching his comeback for Worcester Cavaliers last season.

But he suffered another blow when his left shoulder popped out 42 minutes into the match against Wasps.

“It was one of the darkest times of my life,” Kirwan said.

“Mentally it was very tough because you’re thinking of the next step – is my body giving up? Should I be retiring?

“It’s hard on everyone around you.

“You can’t train, and I was very down but I just love playing rugby and being around the lads in a team environment – and it’s my career, my job and I’ve invested a lot of time in something I believe I’m good at.”

Kirwan underwent a further operation which saw a “high-tension cable” inserted into his shoulder that “holds the bones in place”.

His long road to recovery came to end when he came off the bench in Warriors’ European Challenge Cup win over Pau.

He also featured against Ospreys last month but has now moved to Ealing to seek more game-time.

“Worcester have been very supportive and (director of rugby) Alan Solomons has been brilliant,” Kirwan added.

“But it’s tough to get back in their back row after being out for so long so it was better to come to Ealing and try to get some games in.”