WORCESTER Warriors will be without Chris Ashton for "a few weeks" after a series of injuries during pre-season has delayed a return to action.

The former England winger only featured in three games last season after making the move to Worcester before being sent-off during the heavy defeat to Northampton Saints in April, earning him a six-match ban.

He didn't appear again in the 2020/21 campaign and he will also have to sit out the opening few games of the 2021/22 season after suffering a calf muscle strain.

Worcester fans will also have to wait to see their new British and Irish Lions - Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland - as they have only just begun training following their extended time off following the Lions series defeat in South Africa over the summer.

Jonathan Thomas didn't want to put a date on their debuts but hinted at somewhere between weeks three and five of the Gallagher Premiership.

The English-based Lions are off until week five due but there are no such restrictions for Scottish based players.

But Thomas explained that they both still need time to get up to speed.

"Rory joined up with us yesterday and Duhan is due to join us on Wednesday," he said.

"Just because they are here doesn’t mean they are ready to play, it means they are ready to train and start building their capacity.

"We are not going to set a definite time frame on when we expect them to play for us."