DIRECTOR of rugby Alan Solomons has been spending “a lot of time thinking about” team selection on the back of Warriors standing up to an early-season flurry of injuries.

The Sixways treatment room has finally stopped resembling a city centre railway station at peaks hours with the likes of Chris Pennell, Ryan Mills, Duncan Weir and Matt Moulds fit to face a European Challenge Cup trip to Castres on Saturday (2pm).

Hopes are also high over Francois Hougaard and Nick Schonert following suit but after Worcester coped well during a testing time with casualties, Solomons admitted alternatives had stated a strong case to stay in the mix.


“It is absolutely positive to have everyone available but I think the result at Harelquins followed by the win in Russia also lifted the spirits,” he said.

“Everyone wants everyone to be playing, we have a good group of guys and there is a massive amount of competition.

“When you consider there were seven players unavailable through injury at Quins the team acquitted itself fantastically.

“The level of competition is really great and going back to Enisei, what really pleased me was the progression of the academy lads because they are central to the vision of the club.

“I think the competition has been there from the beginning of the season and when people get given opportunities they take them.

“It does provide food for thought and ups that level of competition even further and I think that’s good, competition drives performance and the fact we have such good strength in depth is positive.

“It does give you headaches and does not make selection easy, that’s for sure. You certainly spend a lot of time thinking about it, there are tough decisions to be made and that’s really good.

“It is definitely by far the most selection headaches I have had in the time I have been here.”

The news that so many big names have closed in on or returned to full training is a relief after the sheer number of concerns during the opening weeks of the campaign but Solomons conceded no side could feel confident of avoiding more.

“People are slowly coming back,” he added.

“We still have Will Butler and Alex Hearle out but we know they involve operations and that it will take time for them to be right.

“It is really positive for us at the moment and you always hope to get good luck on these things but you never know, the game is massively physical and you cannot escape the vagaries of injury.”