DIRECTOR of rugby Alan Solomons refused to grumble about Worcester’s packed 2020-21 schedule and insisted: “We simply have to make that sacrifice.”

A condensed Premiership campaign kicks off at home to London Irish on November 21 with 22 league fixtures to fit into 30 weeks aside from European commitments.

The 2018-19 season saw the same number of fixtures put into 38 weeks and while there were more competitions to consider, those often got completed by players not involved in league action.

But with clubs under increased financial strain with no fans allowed through the gates due to Covid-19, Solomons reckons everyone must find ways to soldier on.

“I have been actively involved with professional rugby since 1997 and I have never seen this (kind of schedule), not at this level,” he said.

“I have never experienced anything like this pandemic in my lifetime, we are in uncharted waters and there is nothing we can do.

“It is vital we play, particularly when we don’t have the benefit of crowds, it is important from the perspective of television to keep the clubs and the game financially viable.

“I think we simply have to make that sacrifice. Many people across all walks of life have made huge sacrifices and we are no different.”

The new season kicks off in the midst of a second national lockdown but with Covid protocols in place, Solomons is confident no one will feel wary.

“The experience of last season will be invaluable moving forward, everyone has got used to the system and they understand it,” he added.

“We have managed the situation fairly well, everyone is comfortable with it and there were no hiccups apart from the last game against Sale.

“I don’t think the guys are too concerned about it. They are positive and the news about the vaccine is also putting everyone in a very positive frame of mind."

Warriors ramp up preparations for the Premiership by travelling to Northampton for a friendly on Friday (2pm).

Matt Moulds “is not 100 per cent” with no verdict on how long Graham Kitchener will be out. Lewis Holsey is ruled out for “a good few months”.