Mike Ruddock is pessimistic about the chances of Shane Drahm being able to extend his Worcester career as the fly half seeks to extricate himself from his contract with Kubota Spears.
Earlier this year the Worcester fly half agreed to join the Japanese outfit at the end of the current English season and signed a big money deal to do so, which means Sunday week's European Challenge Cup final against Bath will be the last of his Warriors career.
But having been the catalyst to Worcester strong finish and starring in last weekend's 51-10 victory over Newcastle the 31-year-old revealed he is having second thoughts and wants to stay at Sixways.
Club owner and chairman Cecil Duckworth confirmed as much yesterday when he revealed Drahm's agent is in talks with Spears about cancelling the agreement but while Duckworth expressed his optimism a concord can be struck, his director of rugby is less sure.
"Shane made it known to me after his final game at Sixways that it was a very emotional moment for him," Ruddock said. "He realised then how much the club means to him and that he will be looking to speak to his agent to see if there is any way he could get out of his contract. We cannot encourage him to do that but it will be interesting to hear whether he can.
"It would be dangerous thinking on our behalf to assume that he will be staying because he signed a contract some months ago.
"Lets wait and see. If he is able to convince his new club to release him we would be happy to have him here but I have to say I think it's unlikely. I will be very surprised if Shane is able to do that."
The Worcester players return to training today when Ruddock will find out from Drahm how well negotiations with the Japanese have gone but if Drahm remains obliged to play in the Far East, Ruddock's plans for next season will receive yet another set-back.
Ruddock claimed yesterday that Warriors had not offered a contract to former Bristol and Pertemps Bees stand off Jason Strange. Indeed the player admitted earlier this week that a move up the M5 is less likely than a return to Wales where he could look to combine playing and coaching roles.
With Andy Goode and Eoghan Hickey already having slipped through the net next term's play-making situation is growing critical despite the presence of Joey Carlisle and Loki Crichton, although Ruddock insists that he still has 'one or two options'.
Another player on his way out of Sixways, Uche Oduoza, received some good news yesterday when he was included in the England Sevens squad for the latest rounds of the IRB Series to be held at Murrayfield and Twickenham in the coming weeks. However, Moseley's James Rodwell has been put on standby after being called up to the training camp despite missing most of the campaign with a knee injury.
As well as Oduoza the group also includes England Saxons' Lee Dickson, Rob Webber, Ben Foden and former Worcester utility back Ben Gollings. Gloucester's Jack Adams, who has played most of the season as a dual registered player with Moseley, is also called up.