Mike Ruddock has promised his Worcester side will eradicate the indiscipline that has cost his side so dearly in the last two matches and left them just five points clear of Leeds Carnegie at the bottom of the Guinness Premiership table.

The Warriors director of rugby has become so concerned at the number of yellow cards and penalties his team picked up against Harlequins and Saracens he has enlisted the help of top referee Wayne Barnes.

The Gloucestershire official spent most of Tuesday at Sixways going through blow by blow, each of the 17 penalties that were awarded in last weekend's dire 36-15 reverse at the Twickenham Stoop.

Worryingly for Ruddock 13 of those were given against Worcester a statistic further compounded by the seven they conceded in one half at Vicarage Road and two of which resulted in yellow cards for Sam Tuitupou and Drew Hickey.

Just as Sarries had done the weekend before when they scored the only try with Pat Sanderson in the cooler, Quins made the visitors pay with 24 points during the sinbinnings.

With Worcester's league position so perilous Ruddock has spent the week holding an inquest into his team's felonious habits in a bid to make sure they are not repeated when London Irish visit Sixways on Friday night.

"I would expect a big turnaround this Friday," Ruddock said. "There has been a big message to the boys that we have to use our heads during the game.

"Against Harlequins we only had five line-outs the whole game and none in their 22. Every time we got into a position we would give away a penalty and as a result didn't have any opportunities to get our driving lineout moving. That negated one of our most potent weapons.

"We have had to take a good hard look at ourselves. I have asked each player to give me their views on their behaviour and why they reacted the way they did and asked Wayne to give me a referee's perspective.

"There have been a couple of decisions we felt were harsh like when Drew Hickey went through on their scrum half who'd dropped the ball but there were a lot for failing to roll away from the tackle or coming in offside."

Ruddock has, for the time being at least, stopped short of fining serial offenders though he has not ruled it out as an option.

His concern is that Worcester need to be competitive if they are to regain the momentum they have lost in the last two matches.

"It is a consideration but we are reluctant to do that at the moment," he said. "There is a fine line because we want players to challenge for the ball there's no way you could say to Richie McCaw 'Don't challenge otherwise we'll fine you'.

"We have fined players this season who have back-chatted the referee because that is unacceptable and needless.

"But you have to be careful you do not take that competitive edge away from the players. We need fire in our bellies but ice in our brains on Friday."

Ruddock is optimistic that Pat Sanderson will have recovered in time from the stinger he picked up against his former team but has ruled out Netani Talei. The Fijian back row has injured knee ligaments and will be out for around four weeks.

There is better news on Chris Horsman, however. The Wales international is just two weeks away from making a comeback from the torn bicep he sustained at Headingley Carnegie in October. The tighthead has started taking part in scrummaging drills but will not return to full training until his shoulder gains strength.