DIRECTOR of rugby Alan Solomons has called on his players to meet the “physically, emotionally and mentally draining” challenges that lie ahead.

Worcester Warriors have been competing hard for the past seven months in what Solomons has described as a “long, arduous” Gallagher Premiership campaign.

But with five games left and second-from-bottom Warriors entangled in a relegation scrap Solomons’ side face a fight to stay in the top flight.

Solomons reckoned every player would be feeling the toll of the “relentless” string of fixtures and it would be a survival of the fittest over the next six weeks.

“It is physically, emotionally and mentally draining,” Solomons said.

“I think we are going into week 44 of the season — just think about that!

“It is a relentless and attritional. We are not too bad (fitness-wise).

“There is nobody that’s not feeling it after a long, arduous season but it is part of being a professional and being well conditioned.

“It is about being able to rise to meet those challenges right through to the end of the season.”

As well as battling it out in the league Warriors have progressed to the knock-out stages of the Premiership Cup and European Challenge Cup, losing in the semi-finals and quarter-finals respectively.

Although disappointed to see their European dream ended by Harlequins in an 18-16 defeat at Sixways last weekend Solomons said it was a “positive” to be able to focus on the remaining league matches.

Warriors, who are three points above the drop zone, visit eighth-placed Wasps on Saturday (3pm) before hosting Sale Sharks on April 13 and Gloucester on April 28.

They then travel to Northampton Saints on May 4 before tackling reigning champions Saracens at Sixways on May 18.

“We have got a tough run-in, there’s no question about it,” Solomons said.

“But whoever you had would be pretty tough.

“What was quite good about the challenge cup match (against Quins) was we were able to give a lot of players game-time at a good level.

“We tried to get the balance between getting continuity for the team and making sure that players on the fringe all got good game-time which they did.

“That’s been invaluable for the run that lies ahead of us.

“I think having two A League games (against Wasps on Monday and Newcastle Falcons on April 22) left also helps as we can keep most of our squad ticking over which is important in terms of preparation.”