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Worcester's Duncan SA return -reports

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Worcester head coach Rory Duncan being lined up for South Africa return - reports

Worcester Warriors’ bid for Gallagher Premiership survival has taken a positive turn over the last couple of weeks, as they picked up five extremely valuable points in their 39-17 win over Sale Sharks in Round 19.

Combined with Newcastle Falcons’ narrow loss at home to Leicester Tigers, Worcester are now seven points clear of Newcastle at the bottom, with just three fixtures left to play.

Those three fixtures come against Gloucester at Sixways this weekend, Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens in the penultimate round, before finishing the season up at home to Saracens.

Whilst their prospects of survival are looking brighter, there are reports emerging in South Africa that Rory Duncan, the club’s head coach, is a wanted man.

According to Rapport, Duncan is on a shortlist to be the next man to lead the Cheetahs, with current head coach Franco Smith linked with a role with the Italian national team after the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Duncan has roots in Bloemfontein, having previously coached the Free State Cheetahs at U21 and Currie Cup levels, before taking up the same role with the Cheetahs in their inaugural season in the Guinness PRO14, a year prior to joining Worcester.

The 41-year-old has faced a testing season alongside Alan Solomons in the Premiership, with the side from the West Midlands having been embroiled in a relegation battle throughout the campaign, but there have been no indications that he is unhappy in his role or looking to move back to South Africa.

Per the Rapport report, Springbok director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has been drafted in to help the Cheetahs find the man to succeed Smith, something which could help convince Duncan to make the move back to the Free State, with Erasmus having been the coach at the franchise when Duncan was there as a player.

Should Duncan be tempted back to his old club, Worcester will be searching for a new head coach as they prepare for the 2019/29 season, unless they promote in-house, with Mefin Davies, Omar Mouneimne and Neil Doak all currently on the coaching staff.

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Worcester head coach Rory Duncan being lined up for South Africa return - reports