Boss steps up hunt for prop cover

Mike Ruddock has revealed he is scouring the globe for front row resources – after Worcester’s injury problems mounted with prop Tevita Taumoepeau forced off in defeat to Harlequins.

Powerhouse prop Taumoepeau was take off after less than 20 minutes after picking up a hand injury.

Director of Rugby Ruddock later revealed the problem could now force the Tongan ace out of the trip to Newcastle and with Matt Mullan, Shaun Ruwers and Olivier Sourgens all currently out he was now actively looking for reinforcements.

“Tevita has potentially dislocated two fingers,” said Ruddock. “I have got to see the medical team and see what they say about him, but it does put his place in doubt for next week.

“We will X-ray him and see if he has broken anything or whether they have been put back in and will settle down.

“But for a prop it is going to impact on his grip and that was the reason he came off, he couldn’t make a bind.

“We struggled a bit in the lineout and struggled in the scrum after that. That had a domino impact on the rest of our game

“We need to look at it and we are a little light on props, with Tevita’s injury it makes it a little worse.

“Olivier (Sourgens) is still to come back from his injury and young Jack Gilding did okay when he came on at tighthead. But it is a big ask for him if he does get the nod, he won’t let us down but it will be a steep learning curve.”

Ruddock has now spoken with league officials about bringing a prop into Sixways Stadium and his search has already taken him to all corners of the globe looking for the right fit.

“I have met with Phil Winstanley from PRL and there is now a possibility we could go out and look for a prop,” he added.

“The difficulties are finding one that is good enough and not on contract somewhere else, plus finding a club that wants to release someone at this point of the season.

“I will know at some stage this week and Olivier’s fitness is going to be crucial. But, all this time for the last two weeks I’ve been looking at my options, and that doesn’t just include the UK.

“I have looked at France and also overseas in terms of the Southern Hemisphere. We have looked at the right mechanics so that, if we do go for a prop that we identify is good enough to do a job for us, everyone is informed and we can do it.

“We have been asking about players and the process is on-going. I have asked a couple of clubs in the Championship about props and asked clubs in Wales. We have been very active in that regard.

“But in Wales, for example, Dragons have been looking everywhere for a prop as they have got a number of front row injuries. We have also spoken to Neath about a player, but they are not in a position to release him.”