WORCESTER Warriors has completed a double swoop to provide “invaluable cover” for the new Premiership season.

Lock George Merrick, pictured, and loosehead prop Marc Thomas come in to provide cover for Graham Kitchener, who has a stress fracture of the foot, and Lewis Holsey who continues to struggle with a dislocated shoulder.

Merrick has Premiership experience with Harlequins and arrives at Sixways after a season with Clermont Auvergne in France’s Top 14. Thomas joins from Harlequins.

“Both George and Marc will provide invaluable cover for us in what will be an arduous season,” said director of rugby Alan Solomons.

“George is a really big man with heaps of Premiership experience and we are most fortunate to have secured his services.

“Marc is an experienced player and a good scrummager who comes to us after a spell with Harlequins.

“Both lads have fitted in well here at Sixways and I have no doubt that they will make their mark. I look forward to working with them.”

Merrick, 28, was a Six Nations Under-20s Championship winner with England in 2012 and made more than 100 appearances for Quins in a six-year career at The Stoop.

The six-foot-eight second row made 10 appearances in the Top14 last season and also played for Clermont in a 52-26 home Heineken Champions Cup victory over Bath last December.

Thomas, 30, began his rugby career with his local club Builth Wells then moved to Bridgend Ravens where he was spotted by Ospreys who recruited him to the Swansea-based region.

He had a season of Championship rugby with Jersey Reds, another with Cardiff Blues and then returned to the Championship with Yorkshire Carnegie in 2017 before joining Doncaster Knights for the start of last season.

The early end to their Championship campaign season caused by Covid-19 gave Thomas the chance to play in the Gallagher Premiership for the first time when he joined Harlequins on a short-term contract.

He made five appearances for them with his debut coming as a replacement in their defeat by Warriors at Sixways in August.