WARRIORS director of rugby Alan Solomons has reflected on his time in the game as he prepares to retire at the end of the season.

Solomons, whose career began with University of Cape Town's 3rd XV in 1977, has been at Sixways since the 2017/18 season.

Looking back, he said he was proud to have brought through local talent and given the club a Worcester identity.

He said: "When I first came to Worcester it was the first club I had been at where local players weren’t the central core of the club.

"I wanted to give the club a Worcester identity.

"Worcester had produced good players but for some reason they didn’t seem to stay on.

"I wanted us to become a sustainable top six club through the medium of a vibrant, flourishing academy.

"You talk about long term vision and sustainability. Look through our squad now. You have Kai Owen and Lewis Holsey at loosehead, Beck Cutting and Finn Theobald-Thomas at hooker, Justin Clegg and Andrew Kitchener have come through at lock, you’ve got Ted Hill and Jack Forsythe, who has played tremendously this season, as loose forwards then, in the backs, you have Fin Smith, Ollie Lawrence, Seb Atkinson, Oli Morris, Noah Heward, Jamie Shillcock and Alex Hearle. They are homegrown players.

"This club is now a Worcester club. We are Worcester.

"I came back on the bus from the Premiership Rugby Cup final and all the young lads were on that bus. This is their club.

"It doesn’t mean that you don’t want people from outside. Of course you do because that diversity enriches the mix.

"But we now have the identity with a core group of players who are Worcester through and through."

By the time rugby went professional in 1995, Solomons had taken charge of the Cape Town's first XV and he then took a sabbatical from his day job as a partner in one of Cape Town’s top law firms to turn what had been his hobby into a profession.

Solomons became an assistant coach to South Africa’s head coach Nick Mallett and then set off on a remarkable rugby journey that took him all over the world including stints with Ulster, a High Performance role with the International Rugby Board – now World Rugby – back to South Africa with Southern Kings, Edinburgh and, finally, to Worcester.

Solomons arrived at Sixways as a consultant midway through the 2017/18 season when relegation from the Premiership appeared certain.

Warriors stayed up that season and have remained a top flight club ever since and have done so with a squad that increasingly has local players, produced by the Three Pears Warriors Academy, at its core.