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'Duty of care': Worcester explain why they have loaned out a rookie tighthead and replaced him with an ex-Wales prop

By Liam Heagney

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Worcester have explained why they have shipped rookie tighthead Joe Morris out on loan to Championship club Jersey and brought in ex-Wales international Scott Andrews on a short-term contract until the end of the Gallagher Premiership season as cover for the injured Conor Carey. 

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Morris, who turns 23 next Saturday, has made just one Premiership appearance this season and four in total in his English top-flight career so far.

However, rather than leave him kicking his heels in frustration and worrying that he might not provide sufficient cover in the absence of the bicep-hit Carey, Worcester boss Jonathan Thomas has decided to loan Morris out to the second-tier Reds and instead bring in a face familiar to him from his own playing days.

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“The big thing for Joe Morris is he is a young man with potential but young men, especially in tighthead, need to play games,” explained Thomas, who was promoted to Worcester head coach in January. “You have got a duty of care as a coach to make sure it is the right time to blood someone in the Premiership and we recognise that. 

“Joe came to us and said that he would like to play some games. It’s difficult with no Prem Cup or A-League this year and we have got a good relationship with quite a few of the Championship sides. Jersey have got a few injuries in that position, so it is an opportunity for Joe to go and play. But also we are down to the bare bones a little bit in the tighthead position in the sense that Conor Carey is out for the season and Nick Schonert and Richard Palframan have got a few bumps and bruises. 

“They are going to be fine for these games but Scott Andrews comes in as injury cover. I played with Scott at the tail-end of my career when he was a young guy coming through and he is a really exciting player. Tighthead, first and foremost your job description is to scrummage but he is a very good footballer as well. He is good around the field and is going to a good addition for us until the end of the season.”

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Now 31, temporary Worcester newcomer Andrews won 14 Test caps between 2011 and 2017, coming off the bench in the 2013 title-clinching win over England. He has 189 appearances for the Blues. 

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'Duty of care': Worcester explain why they have loaned out a rookie tighthead and replaced him with an ex-Wales prop

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