JONATHAN Thomas has a chance to prove himself as a future director of rugby at Worcester Warriors according to co-owner Jason Whittingham.

The former Warriors captain will return to Sixways as forwards coach next summer after signing a three-year contract.

And Whittingham said there was a “possibility” the “inspirational” 36-year-old could go on to succeed Alan Solomons as Worcester boss.

Whittingham also revealed that “two more” coaches were set to be appointed but admitted there would be no head coach at the club once Rory Duncan departs at the end of this season.

“The coaching reshuffle is not yet complete,” Whittingham said.

“We are not having a head coach next season as we will have a forwards coach, defence coach, attack coach and technical coach.

“It won’t be long before we make another announcement.”

When asked how many coaching appointments would be made, Whittingham said: “Two more and they are two great appointments.

“It’s all part of Solly’s decision on how the coaching team will work.”

Thomas made 44 appearances for Warriors between 2013 and 2015 before retiring after being diagnosed with epilepsy.

He then joined Bristol Bears’ coaching staff but will leave his role as forwards coach to take the same post at Worcester, taking over Duncan’s duties.

“(Bristol boss) Pat Lam was very gracious about the work JT had done since coming over,” Whittingham said.

“JT has got an aura and is a very inspirational guy.

“People want to follow him and want to be led by him.

“Rory has some of those traits but not all of them.

“I don’t want to look back, but Rory wasn’t right for what we needed and what we felt we needed.

“JT is absolutely right. He ticks all the boxes.”

Earlier this year Solomons who turns 70 next July signed a contract that expires at the conclusion of the 2021-22 campaign.

Asked whether Thomas could replace Solomons as Warriors boss in the future, Whittingham said: “He could well be.

“We thought about succession early on.

“We have not necessarily discussed that but it’s being thought about.

“He is only 36 years old, so he has got time to develop.

“He has signed a three-year contract so by the end of year two we will know if he is head coach/DOR material.

“Do we do a Pat Lam DOR/head coach type role?

“It’s very much a possibility but it’s not the entire reason he has been brought in.

“He has been brought in to strengthen the coaching team in a way that we want it to be strengthened.”

Thomas played 188 games for Ospreys and made his international debut in 2003, playing in the Rugby World Cup that year.

He was included in every Six Nations squad between 2004 and 2011, winning 67 caps for Wales and Whittingham reckoned the former back rower could mentor young England flanker and Warriors star Ted Hill.

“JT was in a similar position to Ted,” Whittingham said.

“He was a 19 or 20 when he got capped for Wales and played in a similar position to Ted.

“He was captain here, won 100-plus caps for Ospreys as well and had a very solid career.

“He has come up like some of the boys will here.”