RUGBY "should be at the forefront of the city" according to Warriors club captain GJ van Velze as Warriors look to their youth to help build success.

The 100-cap man has been a stalwart at the club for almost six years and reached his landmark appearance in the Gallagher Premiership match against Wasps back in January.

The 31-year-old admits the club has had its struggles during his time there but is now moving in the right direction under the leadership of director of rugby Alan Solomons.

Van Velze shares Solomons' view that home-grown talent is the key to long-term success.

"Alan has brought stability to the club," he said.

"He has put an emphasis on home-grown talent which I think is very important.

"Worcester is a great city and rugby should be at the forefront and it will only be if young kids are coming through the systems.

"There needs to be a reason for young kids between the ages of six and 13 to come and want to play here.

"They need to come to Sixways and support home-grown talent so that they can see themselves in those boots further down the line.

"That needs to be at the centre of this club, young talent."

The perfect example of the academy's success was emphasised when Ted Hill was announced in England's Six Nations squad for this year's tournament.

"He is a very grounded person and credit to him," he continued.

"Ted has worked extremely hard. He needs to get all the praise he is getting at the moment, he deserves that.

"Let’s hope he gets a nod in the Six Nations and let’s hope his good form continues.

"He is a bit of a freak and I don't think he will mind me saying that. We are not going to produce Ted Hills every year in our academy and that's fact.

"We are lucky to have him and he is an example to youngsters that it's amazing what you can achieve with some hard work and some talent."

Whilst the success of youngsters will be judged on the pitch, the South African insist that factors away from rugby also play a large part in the development of academy players.

"It’s exciting to see the young kids have re-signed," he added.

"It’s exciting to see that they’re staying together. Sport is not just about 80 minutes or just about training, you are building relationships.

"Rugby is a short career and it’s not going to last a long number of years.

"These guys need to be actual friends away from the club and it’s got to be about adding value to each other's lives doing the sport we all love."

Warriors continue their Premiership campaign this week after a fortnight's break when they host Bath at Sixways on Saturday (3pm).

Solomons' men ended the last block of league games with a narrow defeat to Wasps at Sixways but have a chance to put things right against a Bath side who sit a place above them in seventh.