THERE is set to be a “very powerful” tussle for Worcester Warriors’ number three jersey next season that is already getting boss Alan Solomons excited.

Nick Schonert, 27, is Warriors’ first-choice tighthead prop and expected to continue to hold down his place in the front row.

But Solomons has strengthened the position with the signings of Richard Palframan, 25, and Conor Carey, 27, from London Scottish and Connacht respectively.

He has also given academy prop Joe Morris, who turned 21 last Wednesday, a first-team contract and is confident current squad member Farai Mudariki, 24, will “make his mark” next term.

“I want as much competition in the squad as possible,” Solomons said.

“I want there to be very powerful competition. I think it’s very healthy.

“We have got young lads there with Joe and Farai. Connor is more experienced and then Richard, who is also a talented player, is sitting in the middle of those.

“I see no harm in (having five tightheads) at all as I would like to see Joe offered that opportunity to show what he can do when he is a full-time player.

“I think that’s a position where you need that kind of depth and it’s an opportunity to see everybody and then take decisions during the course of the year.”

Solomons said he was looking forward to working with South Africa-born Palframan who will return to the Gallagher Premiership having previously had a stint at London Irish.

“Although he is an England-qualified player he is originally from South Africa and was educated at Rondebosch High School which is a school I know well in Cape Town,” Solomons said.

“He was an outstanding prospect as a young guy. He unfortunately picked up a few injuries and then went down to the Championship.

“He has got past that and everything that I have seen of him in his recent matches and speaking to people that know him is really positive.

“He has got real ability as a tighthead as he is a good scrummager and very mobile around the field.

“I think he is going to be an asset for us. But I must say that Farai has been working like crazy on his conditioning and getting these A games so I am really positive about him as well.

“I think he is going to make his mark next season.”

Schonert made his 100th appearance in Warriors’ 38-10 loss at Northampton Saints in their last game on May 4 and Solomons said he had been impressed by the England prospect’s work ethic.

“He played exceptionally well (in the 27-20 win over Gloucester on April 28),” Solomons added.

“He scrummed really well and defensively he was outstanding.

“Credit to Mef (Mefin Davies, forwards coach) for the hard work that he has done with him technically in the scrum.

“Omar (Mouneimne, defence coach) has done a great job with him as well.

“But at the end of the day Nick has put in the work.”