Worcester will today address their forthcoming hooker shortage when they announce the signing of former Wasps front-rower Ben Gotting.

The Sixways side are due to lose Andre van Niekerk and Gavin Hickie after this campaign but will this morning unveil the 25-year-old as competition for Chris Fortey.

Gotting has agreed a two-year deal with Worcester after spending the last five seasons with Premiership champions Wasps, whom he joined from his childhood club Camberley in 2001.

Worcester director of rugby John Brain described Gotting as 'hungry for success' and predicted a bright future for the England Under-21 cap.

"He is a good thrower, a good loose player and, for a 25-year-old, he has got an awful lot of big-match and Premiership experience," Brain said. "He is one of the better young English hookers around.

"There is a lot of potential in him, but there is a little bit of work to do, too. He has come to develop his game in a direction which could help him move to representative rugby."

That will come as music to Gotting's ears since, until the start of this campaign, he was something of a bit-part player at the Causeway Stadium. He appeared to be making a break-through until he fractured an eye socket and found it difficult to dislodge Raphael Ibanez and Joe Ward from the match-day 22.

A switch was on the cards: "He feels he needs a key change to reignite his career. He is very focused and hungry for success," Brain said. "He will enjoy playing for a team that has a little bit more emphasis on the set-piece than Wasps do."

Brain also expressed an interest in adding another front-line No 2: "If we bring anyone else to the club, they will be on the same level as Ben and Chris," he said.

No 8 Drew Hickey will miss Saturday's match with London Irish due to a wrist injury and mild concussion. There are question marks over Kai Horstmann, Mark Tucker, Dale Rasmussen and Aisea Havili.