DIRECTOR of rugby Alan Solomons insists Worcester Warriors’ strength in depth is “miles better” after overseeing two recruitment drives.

Since replacing Gary Gold in December 2017 Solomons has aimed to strengthen Warriors’ squad in a bid to boost performance and tackle their inconsistency issues.

At the end of the 2017-18 campaign Solomons added 11 new faces including fly-half Duncan Weir, number eight Cornell du Preez and centre Francois Venter while back-rower David Denton and lock Will Spencer were among 15 first-team players that left. This summer saw the same amount of departures with star wingers Josh Adams and Bryce Heem, centre Ben Te’o and hooker Jack Singleton the most notable exits.

But Solomons made eight signings including backs Melani Nanai and Ed Fidow and promoted the likes of flanker Ted Hill, centre Ollie Lawrence and lock Andrew Kitchener from the academy.

“There is massive competition here which makes selection very difficult,” Solomons said.

“I am very pleased that over two recruitment cycles we have now got miles better strength in depth within our squad and that competition is going to drive performance.”

Solomons’ comments came after an injury-hit Warriors side claimed a 19-14 victory at Harlequins.

Scrum-half Michael Heaney who joined Worcester from Doncaster Knights in the summer of 2018 stepped in to fill the void left by the injured Francois Hougaard (shoulder) and produced a man-of-the-match performance at The Stoop.

“Michael really grew into that game,” Solomons said.

“He was mature and handled it really well. He was splendid.

“Michael only came last year and had been playing for Doncaster. He had been playing really well in the Championship but the Premiership is a different level of competition so you have got to get used to that. You need time in the saddle but you also need to adapt to the level.”

Warriors were without full-back Chris Pennell (leg) and fly-half Duncan Weir (hand) but their replacements were key to success at Quins. Stand-off Jono Lance landed 14 points from the tee while Jamie Shillcock marked his first Premiership appearance in 11 months with the decisive try.

“Shilly has had a lot of injuries and been up against really good players like Duncan and Jono at 10 and Chris at 15.

“He has just got massive competition. But he is a good young player and will come through. Saturday would have done him the world of good.”

On Lance’s showing, Solomons added: “He did very well.

“I thought the kick just before half-time was critical as we went into the shed at 14-9. It made a huge difference.”