UTILITY back Gareth Simpson has signed a two-year contract with Worcester Warriors for his first professional deal.

Simpson, 22, arrived at Sixways on trial 12 months ago having paid his own way to England from his native South Africa.

He impressed playing for Cavaliers in the Premiership Rugby Shield and for Stourbridge in National Two North in the second half of last season.

Simpson was taken onto the Warriors academy during the summer and has made four senior appearances off the bench this season with the latest in Saturday’s European Challenge Cup victory over Dragons at Sixways.

He scored his maiden try in the victory over Enisei-STM in Russia on his European debut last month.

“It’s a year and two weeks since I came over. It’s been pretty awesome to be involved in such a big organisation and live out a dream I have had since I was a kid,” Simpson said.

“I was lucky enough that Warriors gave me the opportunity and I’ve just tried to work as hard as I can.

“This season has gone well. I’ve got a bit of game time, I’ve learnt a lot from all the experienced players ahead of me and I’ve played a few different positions.

"That’s helped me to learn about the game from different perspectives.”

Simpson, who played provincial rugby for Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa, can play at scrum-half or fly-half.

His versatility and strong work ethic have impressed Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons.

“I am really pleased that Gareth has decided to pursue his career with us here at Sixways,” Solomons said.

“Gareth is a promising young scrum-half who has the capability of playing at 10. He is a good kicker both off the floor and out of hand.

“He is also a skilled footballer and has excellent game understanding. He will ultimately be a superb game-manager.

“He is a dedicated professional who spends hours honing his skills. He is also a first-class bloke and a loyal team man who is very popular with all here at Sixways.

"He is a pleasure to work with and I look forward to us continuing to work together.”