SCRUM-half Michael Heaney says he has not come to Worcester Warriors to be a squad filler as he aims to battle for the number nine shirt.

After three seasons at Championship side Doncaster Knights, Heaney has decided to make the step up to the Premiership by signing a one-year deal at Warriors.

Heaney faces stiff competition in his position as he comes up against 46-cap South Africa international Francois Hougaard, Sixways stalwart Jonny Arr and Luke Baldwin whose first-team chances were limited last season due to injury.

But Heaney, who started his career playing for Pro14 outfit Ulster, insisted he was ready for the challenge at Worcester.

“There will be a lot of competition,” said the 27-year-old.

“They seem to have strength in depth across the squad which will only benefit the club.

“If you get a couple of first-team injuries you need people to step up and continue to perform at a high level which is what makes a club successful.”

Belfast-born Heaney came through the ranks at Ulster before making his senior debut in 2010.

The ex-Ireland under 20 international made 29 appearances for his home club but made the switch to Doncaster in 2015 in a bid to gain more game-time.

The move paid off as Heaney became a regular at Castle Park and he now hopes to “play as much rugby as possible” at Warriors.

“The more I play the better for me,” Heaney continued.

“I just filled a spot a lot of the time at Ulster and that was part of the reason why I came to Doncaster as I wanted to play more rugby.

“I am looking forward to the challenge at Worcester and learning off the likes of Hougaard who is an international and Arr who has played over 200 games for the club.

“Hopefully I can add to the competition which will help the club in general. But I want to play as much rugby as possible.

“The way I look at it is that you only get one chance to make your first impression so hopefully I can put my best foot forward.

“When I was younger I thought it (playing at scrum-half) was all about tempo and trying to get in and move the ball as quickly as possible.

“But over the last few seasons at Doncaster I have developed and I would like to think that I am able to mix it between adding tempo and knowing when to put your foot through the ball to put pressure on teams.”

Heaney said he would also be happy to take on the goal-kicking duties at Warriors having kicked occasionally for Ulster and Doncaster.

“I do a bit of kicking at goal and keep practising just in case I am needed,” Heaney said.

“I kicked a lot at school, a bit in second-team rugby at Ulster and a couple of times at Doncaster so I am capable.

“If the chance comes to do it for Worcester then I will be more than happy to get the kicking tee out.”