WORCESTER Warriors' head coach Jonathan Thomas offered an update on a number of injury issues as the club prepare for their European Challenge Cup clash with French side Biarritz Olympique this weekend.

Worcester took two losing bonus-points from their opening game in the group at Newcastle last weekend, in which they were edged out 31-26.

Biarritz on the other hand won their first away game of the season as they beat Zebre in Italy by 26-13, meaning Warriors sit third in the group currently.

But a win against the former European Challenge Cup winners (2012) would keep Worcester on target for qualifying for the knockout stages.

Here is a quick run through the injury issues and fitness updates on some of the key individuals in the squad:

  • Melani Nanai tested positive for Covid before the game at Newcastle and is currently in quarantine, so will not be available for selection this Saturday
  • Niall Annett and Francois Venter came off in that game up north last weekend due to HIAs so are a doubt to feature
  • Rory Sutherland suffered a dead leg in the game against Wasps two weeks ago so is another who may not be fit enough
  • Kyle Hatherell has played a lot of games recently and is carrying a knock so could be rested
  • Ashley Beck is fit again and is in contention to be involved against Biarritz
  • Gareth Simpson is still nursing the injury to the ribs he took in the games against Newcastle and Wasps so it remains to e seen if he will feature

There are more long term worries for scrum-half Willi Heinz and Ollie Lawrence, who have both suffered set backs in recent weeks.

Heinz is dealing with a calf problem that has kept him out since the thrashing at Northampton in October and is due to miss out for the next couple of weeks.

Lawrence is currently being assessed for a hamstring injury and the seriousness of the problem is not yet known by the medical staff.

Fly-half Owen Williams is back running again on the field but his return is still a month or so away.