“FRESH” fly-half Jono Lance believes the onus is on him to “drive the standards” at Worcester Warriors having recently returned from a long injury lay-off.

After more than four months out with a back issue Lance feels he is in the best condition he has been in for “a very long time”.

The Australian playmaker made his first appearance since mid-October when he came off the bench in Warriors’ 17-6 defeat at relegation rivals Newcastle Falcons on Sunday.

And the 28-year-old is determined to play a big part in Warriors’ final seven games of the Gallagher Premiership campaign.

“It’s a long season and the guys who have played a lot of rugby are dealing with a lot of niggles at the moment,” Lance said.

“When I come into training I feel quite fresh. It’s the best I have felt in a very long time.

“It’s on me and a few other guys to drive the standards as I’m somebody who isn’t struggling like the other guys who have been applying themselves week in week out for four or five months.”

While Lance and Jamie Shillcock who has also battled back from injury have been on the road to recover Duncan Weir has starred in the number 10 shirt.

The Scotland international has registered 182 points in 19 games for Worcester this season but Lance will be looking to take his place in the team.

“Duncan has been going very well,” Lance said.

“He has got a lot of strengths that we have definitely been using as a team.

“Myself, Duncan and Shilly speak a lot about where we think we can improve and see the game a little bit differently.”

Lance featured in five of Warriors’ first seven matches, starting in the league game at Exeter Chiefs and captained the side to a memorable European Challenge Cup victory over Stade Francais in Paris.

But the former Queensland Reds star was then dealt a blow when scans revealed he had sustained a partial stress fracture to his back.

“I was struggling with my body for a while and wasn’t too sure what it was,” Lance said.

“I got to a point where I could not finish a training session so I went for a scan and the rest is history.

“I had a few months rest which was very relaxing but the last few weeks have been built around getting back into training and playing some rugby.

"I am out of rehab and ready to get stuck in."

Lance had a spell on loan at Warriors last season before returning to the club in the summer after penning a two-year contract.

“You never want to be injured especially on game days when you see the guys getting up for it,” Lance said.

“It was very frustrating but it has been exciting to get back into it.

“The injury was a good way for me to take a step back and see what you think you can add to the team when you get back into training and playing.

“There are certain aspects of the game that you feel needs to improve so it’s been a frustrating refreshment to be sitting on the sidelines.

“But now it is about trying to bring that into action during training and in games.”