Former Wales coach and current Worcester boss Mike Ruddock has revealed the resurgent Warriors are turning away players anxious to be part of a Sixways revolution.
Ruddock expects to complete his recruitment for next season in the days following Worcester’s European Challenge Cup final appearance against Bath this weekend.
Australian full-back star Chris Latham and Wales international centre Hal Luscombe are confirmed arrivals, but more stand on the horizon, including a fly-half replacement for Japan-bound Shane Drahm.
Worcester, who were just minutes away from possible Premiership relegation last term, will secure prized European Cup qualification by beating Bath at Kingsholm on Sunday.
And a place among the European elite could be theirs if they continue the Ruddock-inspired transformation.
Ruddock, Wales’ 2005 Six Nations title and Grand Slam-winning coach, admits he found it tough adjusting to life in the Premiership after linking up with Worcester last summer.
But after waiting until January for their first league victory – Worcester went 10 Premiership games without a win – they lost just five of the next 12.
Ruddock said: “What has pleased me most about the last part of our recruitment programme has been the interest in the club. Players want to join us.
“They see us as a club that is moving forward, a club that has recruited strongly, a club that brings through young players and a club that is playing quality rugby.
“Those are the messages we are getting, which is really pleasing and very encouraging. We are turning away a lot of quality players at the moment who have indicated they want to join us.”
Ruddock arrived in the Premiership more than a year after his successful spell with Wales reached an abrupt and controversial conclusion.
Despite Worcester avoiding the drop, Warriors’ millionaire owner Cecil Duckworth rapidly parted company with John Brain, Ruddock’s predecessor at Sixways, and the Welshman subsequently took charge following a season coaching at Welsh Division Three South West club Mumbles.
Ruddock though, claims the early days were difficult.
He added: “The Premiership is a tougher league than I imagined it was.
“It is an incredibly difficult league to perform in week in, week out.
“You have only got to look at what has happened with Gloucester. To ‘win’ the league after 22 games and then go into play-offs and lose, you see how difficult it is to win the title.
“I found it quite difficult at first, and I was probably a bit ring-rusty as well after working in Welsh Division Three South West for a season. It was a big step up again.
“We under-performed at the start of the season, and I have got to take responsibility for that and for not delivering the goods.
“Hopefully, we’ve turned the corner now and we’ve got the sort of players as well who can adapt to a slightly wider game with a lot more continuity.”