WARRIORS continue to strengthen with yet another player making the step up from the academy to the senior squad.

Alex Hearle has signed his first senior contract and follows the likes of Ted Hill, Ollie Lawrence, Will Butler, Andrew Kitchener, Justin Clegg, Joe Morris and Tom Dodd in joining the senior squad from the Three Pears Warriors Academy.

The 21 year-old wing/centre has already made seven senior appearances and started this season brightly, scoring his maiden try in the Premiership Rugby Cup win over Leicester Tigers in September, before being sidelined by a foot injury which required surgery.

He said: “I’m really happy to have signed my first senior contract at the club. It is a very exciting time for the club, with a new coaching team that I’m very excited to start working with.

“It’s great to be part of this young group of players that have grown up around Worcester coming through the Academy into the senior squad.

“I had an operation on my foot in October which caused me to miss most of this season, but the club were outstanding in getting me back fit and it’s great to have the backing of the club.”

Hearle made his Warriors debut while he was still at Shrewsbury School when he came off the bench against Wasps in an Anglo-Welsh Cup match at the Ricoh Arena in 2016.

He joined the Senior Academy ahead of the 2017/18 campaign and made two more appearances for the first-team that season, as well as impressing for Worcester Cavaliers in the Premiership Rugby A League.

Hearle has since furthered his rugby education on a dual registration with Birmingham Moseley in National One and, having impressed in three Premiership Rugby Cup matches at the start of this season, has been tipped for a bright future by Warriors’ Director of Rugby Alan Solomons.

Solomons said: “I am chuffed to see Alex, like many of our young home grown players, take the step up from the Academy to our senior squad.

“Alex is a big, athletic young player, who is equally comfortable at 13 or on the wing. He had a terrific start to the season, playing some really good rugby in the Premiership Rugby Cup, until injury struck.

“He has though now recovered fully and will be good to go when we start playing again. He is a terrific young man, a Warrior through and through and I am really looking forward to working with him.”