Worcester have sounded out London Irish about the prospect of extending Eoghan Hickey’s stay at Sixways.
Director of rugby Mike Ruddock has asked the Premiership leaders’ head coach, Toby Booth, whether he sees the 27-year-old as part of his long-term plans.
The Welshman expects to hear back this week whether he can approach Hickey about continuing beyond his initial six-week agreement and perhaps even longer.
Although Hickey is under contract at the Exiles for the rest of this season and all of next, Ruddock has been impressed with what the Irishman has brought to Warriors and having missed out on him last summer would like the chance to make amends.
He has not yet spoken to Hickey about remaining at Sixways but if given the go-ahead by Booth, who has played Mike Catt, Shane Geraghty and Peter Hewat at fly half this term, Ruddock would approach the former Munster and Leinsterman.
Hickey was initially brought in to cover injuries to Matthew Jones and Loki Crichton in the short term but has done sufficiently well in matches at No 10 against Bristol and Newcastle to suggest that he has a longer term future at the club.
Although he has always been diplomatic when asked about the prospect of staying longer he has also always made it clear that he just wants to play regular rugby – his chances of doing that appear better at Worcester.
With Loki Crichton out of contract at the end of this season, doubts about the suitability of Joey Carlisle and Jones’s inconsistent fitness, Ruddock would love to have a settled outside half to turn to and if Booth is amenable he may do just that in the coming days.
There are signs, meanwhile, that Crichton could be back in time to play a re-scheduled match with Sale. The fixture was postponed on Saturday because part of the Sixways pitch was frozen and although the Sharks have not yet agreed Worcester have suggested the game be played on either January 31 or February 7 – when Sale will once again be decimated by international call-ups.
By that stage Crichton could have recovered from the heel injury that robbed him of the chance to make the fly half berth his own, indeed Ruddock thinks Jones might even be close to playing again by that stage as he recovers from a broken foot. Whether they have a new rival for their positions only time and Toby Booth will tell.