NEWLY-appointed director of rugby Alan Solomons is set to step up contract talks with Worcester Warriors’ players.

The veteran coach said his predecessor Gary Gold had been handling the negotiations while he focused on preparing the team.

But with Gold leaving the Aviva Premiership club to become USA’s head coach Solomons, who joined Warriors as a consultant in mid-October, says he will now take over the reins.

Almost half of Warriors’ squad is understood to be out of contract at the end of this season, including key trio Ryan Mills, Will Spencer and Jackson Willison.

Spencer and Willison are being linked to Leicester Tigers and Bath respectively while Mills is rumoured to be close to securing a new deal.

From next Monday, clubs will be allowed to talk to players whose contracts are due for renewal in the summer.

And Solomons said he would be “working hard” to get some deals tied up as well as adding new signings ahead of next season.

“Gary has been doing a lot of work with that,” Solomons said.

“He focused on the recruitment side so I am really just getting my feet under the table with regards to that.

“At this point in the season one is looking to get that degree of certainty.

“The club has a protocol in terms of the way they do things so when players are signed then there will be a press release telling you exactly what is going on.

“We are working hard at that, I can assure you.”

Solomons confirmed he would be in charge of Warriors for their trip to Saracens on Saturday (3pm) after Gold, who will officially leave the club at the end of this month, returned to South Africa.

But having spent more than two months at Sixways Solomons said it was a “smooth transition” as he continues to work with head coach Carl Hogg and the rest of his backroom staff.

Warriors are 10 points clear of the drop zone after beating basement side London Irish 23-8 last Friday.

“I came here on October 15 and Gary was away at the time so I dealt with the rugby side,” Solomons said.

“When he returned he suggested for the sake of continuity that I continue with that and he would deal with the recruitment and we would liaise with one another.

“It has been a very smooth transition and has worked out quite well.

“What I can say is there are certainly some really good players here with great facilities and good support.”