Worcester have missed out on another fly half target following Leicester's refusal to release Andy Goode from his contract at Welford Road.
Goode, who has one year left on his deal with the Tigers, may have been surplus to requirements with the Premiership powerhouse had they been able to land either of the two international-class No 10s they were courting.
But confirmation earlier this week that Nick Evans has agreed a move to Harlequins and the failure to land Juan Martin Hernandez means Leicester have told Goode they need him for at least another season before allowing him to move.
The Post understands Goode had been keen on the idea of a move to Sixways and had even looked around the club with a view to a summer transfer but now director of rugby Mike Ruddock must turn to other options for the man to replace Shane Drahm whose Warriors career has just two games to run.
As things stand Worcester will start next season  one in which they could face their first ever Heineken Cup campaign  with the unreliable Loki Crichton and the inexperienced Joey Carlisle as their only recognised fly halves.
They have already been turned down by Eoghan Hickey, who opted to remain at London Irish, and were hoping that Goode, who has won nine England caps and established a reputation as a peerless goal kicker, would be the ideal man to step in Drahm's boots.
Although they may be able to return to Goode in 12 months, for the time being Ruddock must look elsewhere. With Jason Strange and Gloucester's Willie Walker possible recruits.
Carlisle made his Premiership debut in last weekend's win over Bristol and although he was taken off with half an hour remaining Ruddock saw enough to confirm his belief the 20-year-old will become a star in the future.
"It was a tough debut for him, I would have liked to have given him one at home but for various reasons that was not possible," Ruddock said. "He did very, very well for the first try when he went down the blindside of the scrum and did pretty well with his passing game."
Ruddock admitted, however, Carlisle still had much to learn in terms of his defence and tactical kicking and expressed his hope Carlisle's development would take a similar path to Chris Pennell's.
"Chris was thrown in on the first day of the season, which again wasn't ideal, and it was a steep learning curve for him. But he has bounced back since then and has come on very nicely," said Ruddock. "It would be good for that to happen with Joey."
Another youngster whose development has pleased Ruddock is Matt Cox, sufficiently so in fact for him to have agreed a one-year deal to remain at Sixways.
The 20-year-old flanker made his debut against London Wasps last month and although he picked up a yellow card played reasonably well and scored a try.
Ruddock is optimistic Cox is another homegrown product who can fulfil his vast potential.
"He is a spirited character and has all the components to become a top back row forward," he said. "The jury is still out on his best position but [National Academy coach] Nigel Redman is very pleased with him and he was a key part of the Under-20 side that did the Grand Slam."
Ruddock also revealed he will hand Chris Horsman his first start in six months in this Saturday's final match of the Premiership season against Newcastle.
Whilst he still considers Tevita Taumoepeau the likely starter in the European Challenge Cup final, he wants Horsman to have had more minutes on the pitch following surgery on an ankle and a lengthy time out with a torn bicep.
Netani Talei will also be given a start against the Falcons after missing much of 2008 with a knee problem.