DIMINUTIVE half-back Gareth Simpson is determined to prove size does not matter as he looks to make his mark at Worcester Warriors.

Standing at 5ft 8in and weighing 13st, Simpson admitted he had been told he was “too small” for the physical nature of rugby.

But the 21-year-old, who can operate at scrum-half or fly-half, said he just uses his doubters as fuel in his quest to carve out a career in the sport.

The South African will be part of Warriors’ senior academy next term after a successful trial at the club last season and is just looking to grasp any opportunity he can get to show what he can do.

“I am trying to see how far I can go,” Simpson said. “I enjoy the hard work and trying to prove myself. I have been told that I might be too small so I like to prove people wrong.

“I am loving it here.

“It is a very good club for youngsters to try to prove themselves and grow.

“We train with the first team every day so you get to learn a lot off those guys.

“I want to keep working hard and see what happens in the future.”

Simpson grew up in Durban where he represented KwaZulu-Natal province and the C Cell Sharks in the Currie Cup.

After a stint at Wellington Rugby Club in New Zealand last summer, Simpson decided to make his way to England.

He made his debut for National Two North outfit Stourbridge in December and managed to get a chance to train with Warriors’ first team for the rest of the 2018-19 season.

“I was born in the UK, but moved to South Africa when I was young, played schoolboy rugby and went into the Sharks academy,” Simpson said.

“I played a bit of the juniors with the Sharks and then went to New Zealand for a few months last year.

“I was just looking for a new opportunity so I thought I would have a go at Worcester as I have got some family based close by.

“I have got an agent who knows Alan Solomons and they just got chatting.

“Solly said it was OK for me to come over and do what I could to prove myself.

“They have given me the best opportunity possible to do that.”

Simpson impressed in the number 10 jersey in Worcester Cavaliers’ Premiership Shield clashes with Northampton Wanderers, Wasps and Newcastle Falcons.

His assured performances at stand-off secured him a contract at Warriors, but Simpson said he saw his future at scrum-half.

“I definitely prefer nine,” Simpson said.

“As I have played there for more years it feels a lot more natural to me but I do enjoy 10.

“I like the controlling aspect of it and just having a different view of the game.

“I think it is good to play both as you get to see how different things work.”

Simpson is now aiming to put in the hard yards in pre-season to get himself in the best shape possible for the 2019-20 campaign.

“I am learning a lot off everyone here at Worcester,” Simpson said.

“It has also been good to show that I can play in another position and demonstrate a bit of versatility. I look forward to every opportunity I can get out on that pitch and see what I can do.

“I have got to put a bit of weight on and keep working hard to give myself the best possible opportunities to impress the coaches.”