CONTRACT negotiations are stepping up at Sixways with Andrew Kitchener becoming the second Worcester Warriors player to agree a two-year extension.

The announcement of the 23-year-old lock’s decision to stay comes just a day after flanker Ted Hill, 20, put pen to paper.

And director of rugby Alan Solomons revealed Warriors were “well on the way to having everyone of our youngsters signed up”.

Kitchener made his Warriors debut in October 2016 and after graduating with a first-class degree in economics this summer he was promoted to the senior squad.

The 6ft 6in forward has made 37 first-team appearances in what has been an injury-hit start to his Worcester career.

But Solomons is confident Kitchener will become a Warriors star and an England international.

“Andrew has signed and I believe we are well on the way to having everyone of our youngsters signed up,” Solomons said.

“Andrew is a terrific young player and one of the best young locks in England.

“He has been unfortunate to have had a number of injuries which have hindered his progress a little bit.

“But when he has played in the Premiership he has been a factor in the games.

“He is athletic, has played at six and played very well.

“He is a highly intelligent boy who is well capable of calling the lineouts so I think him having signed up as well is a massive positive.

“I am confident that we will have all of our young players signed up which fits the vision of the club and I think it’s massive for the club moving forward.

“This is a Worcester club and we want to build a core.

“That’s not to say that we won’t have players coming from outside that add to the mix.

“But the core of the team as part of our vision will be home-grown players coming through our academy.”

Shrewsbury-born Kitchener was part of the England under 20s side that won the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2016.

Fellow second row duo Justin Clegg and James Scott have also represented their country at age-group level and are starting to challenge for first-team spots.

“I have been really impressed with Cleggy as well,” Solomons added.

“He couldn’t have much game-time (at Castres last weekend) as we needed him to play on Monday night (for Worcester Cavaliers).

“But I thought he was good in those 15 minutes.

“He is really coming on leaps and bounds as he missed last season due to that stress fracture of the back.

“He seems to be well over that and we have got young James behind him. We are blessed with three very good young locks. Andrew has got the most experience at this point.”