VETERAN South African coach Alan Solomons has emerged as the hot favourite to become Worcester Warriors’ next director of rugby after ex-England boss Stuart Lancaster distanced himself from the role.

The Worcester News understands Solomons, who is currently working at the club as a consultant, is in pole position to take the top job at Sixways in a bid to ease disruption.

And it is believed an announcement could be made as early as tomorrow prior to Worcester’s crunch clash against relegation rivals London Irish that evening (7.45pm).

The appointment of a new boss is also likely to take place before the sale of the club with the owners Sixways Holdings Limited continuing to hold discussions.

Former Cornish Pirates chief Chris Stirling and Lancaster have been rumoured to be contenders to succeed Gary Gold who is due to become USA’s head coach next summer.

But Lancaster has dismissed any contact from clubs in the Aviva Premiership having also been touted to replace the recently-axed Jim Mallinder at Northampton Saints.

The 48-year-old, who quit as England supremo in 2015, is currently senior coach at Leinster and signed a new contract in May.

Speaking to the media in Ireland, Lancaster said: “It’s almost an irrelevant point really because I’ve not spoken to anyone from any English club.

“They have not contacted me and I have not contacted them so to have me linked is pure speculation from my point of view.

“As I have said consistently, it wasn’t a hard decision to stay at Leinster and extend my contract by another year.

"I’m really enjoying what I’m doing, it fits my family. I’m coaching a great team in two good competitions.

“That’s all that’s on my mind.”

Asked whether he would be tempted to join a Premiership club if approached, he added: “I can’t see it happening.”

With Lancaster not interested, Solomons, who has got more than 20 years of experience in coaching, could take over the reins at Worcester although for how long it remains to be seen.

The 67-year-old has been involved with a long list of clubs, including Northampton, Ulster and Edinburgh.

He was also assistant coach of South Africa between 1997 and 2000 and was a coaching consultant at Bristol at the end of last season.

Since joining Warriors on a short-term deal in mid-October, Solomons stood in as director of rugby while Gold spent time with his family in South Africa.

His arrival has also coincided with an upturn in form as Worcester have won three of their last five games in all competitions.

And he has received high praise from Gold who regards his countryman as his “mentor” although he has previously stated Solomons was not looking to take anyone’s job.

If Solomons were to take the hot-seat, it could also stop Worcester’s current coaching staff, whose contracts are all believed to finish at the end of this season, from leaving. A spokesman from Warriors said there was no news to report at this stage and refused to comment on speculation.