Worcester have moved to shore up their front row with the signing of Cornish Pirates prop Paul Andrew.
The 23-year-old will move to Sixways at the end of the current season after coming through the ranks at Mount’s Bay.
Andrew, who is primarily a loosehead, is not seen as a direct replacement for Matt Mullan, who has agreed a move to London Wasps, but as a prospect for the future
Indeed head coach Richard Hill is talking to at least two or three other front line candidates for the No.1 shirt but has yet to secure a deal for the right man.
In the meantime he will continue back-filling his squad with the Championship’s best young potential and he has identified Andrew as a decent option. The Truro-born forward made his second-tier debut as a 19-year-old against London Welsh in December 2008 and he has gone on to become an established part of the Pirates squad.
Since then he has played 80 times for the Pirates, including three games against Worcester in the Warriors’ promotion winning season of 2010-11, and has scored six tries.
This season has been his best and he has gone on to claim the starting berth from Ryan Storer in ten of Pirates’ 18 matches, although he missed last Sunday’s win over Moseley with a head injury.
The youngster becomes Hill’s latest Championship raid, a supply line that has proved relatively fruitful with several key members of his squad having been plucked out of the lower division.
Andrew will also further strengthen the connection with Cornish Pirates and he will come to Sixways having played with Sam Betty and Blair Cowan. Centre Josh Matavesi was also born in The Duchy.
Andrew is believed to have signed a two-year deal and he will challenge Mullan’s replacement and Ceri Jones for game-time.
However, Worcester supporters will want to see Hill bring a recognised, seasoned Premiership-ready starter to the club after watching several of their young stars opt to chase success away from Sixways.