ALEX Hearle has become the latest Worcester Warriors player to commit his future to the club by signing a one-year contract extension.

The 22-year-old graduated from the Three Pears Senior Academy last year and his versatility as either a wing or centre makes him a valuable member of the squad.

He scored his first senior try in the victory over Leicester Tigers in the Premiership Rugby Cup at Sixways in September 2019 and made his Gallagher Premiership debut against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park last August having returned from six months out with an ankle injury.

Hearle is yet to make an appearance this season due to the impressive performances from other wingers in the squad and the progress of Oli Morris but head coach Jonathan Thomas says the youngster has an exciting future.

“We are really pleased that Alex has signed on with the club again," he said.

"The development of our homegrown players is important to us. He probably hasn’t had the game time with the first team that he would like - owing to COVID-19 we have lost the Premiership Rugby Shield and a couple of European Rugby Challenge Cup matches and the Premiership Rugby Cup hasn’t been played yet.

“But Alex has an exciting future. The big thing about him is that he is versatile. He gives us good options at centre and at wing and he’s a strong lad.

“I have been really impressed by his leadership. As a young man he leads by example, he speaks well in meetings and he is someone who could play a big part in terms of a leadership role in the future of the club.”

Hearle believes he still very much has a future at Worcester and is keen to push himself to get into the squad.

“I am very excited to stay here for a bit longer. We have a very talented group here and with the coaching group we now have I feel that we can really build something here,” Hearle said.

“There have been a lot of positive developments over the past 12 months or so and I think we are going to see the benefits in the future.

“It helps having a lot of players who have also come through the Academy in the first team squad.

“You build a very strong relationship with them growing up. I’ve known a lot of them from the age of 14 or 15, I’ve played a lot of rugby with them and to now play with them in the first team makes it even more meaningful.”

“With COVID I haven’t had a lot of game time this season but, hopefully, there will be opportunities coming up ."