DIRECTOR of rugby Alan Solomons is holding out hope Ryan Mills and Ollie Lawrence will be fit for Friday’s Gallagher Premiership showdown with rivals Gloucester at Kingsholm (7.45pm).

The powerful centre pairing were ruled out of Worcester Warriors’ 25-16 European Challenge Cup defeat at Dragons last Friday due to injury.

Solomons said the duo “were not ready to play” with Lawrence struggling with an ankle issue and Mills, an ex-Gloucester player, battling with a back problem.

But Solomons now hopes they will be back in the fold as fourth-placed Warriors look to continue their impressive start to the Premiership season.

“Ollie’s ankle wasn’t right and Ryan had a little bit of a back injury that was worrying him so we didn’t feel it was merited to play either of them,” Solomons said.

“I hope they will be OK for Friday.

“There was no way (we were going to play them).

“They weren’t ready to play and we weren’t going to play them.”

With Francois Venter (ankle), Will Butler (ankle) and Alex Hearle (foot) also sidelined, fly-half Jono Lance stepped into the breach, playing at inside centre against Dragons.

The Aussie playmaker partnered Ashley Beck in midfield, but the pair struggled to make an impact in a rain-affected clash at Rodney Parade.

“It was very difficult in those conditions,” Solomons said.

“It’s not conducive to playing much rugby.

“It’s all about getting the ball into the right parts of the field and then trying to build an attack which was difficult.”

Solomons is also set to discover the extent of the damage to Niall Annett’s shoulder ahead of the trip to Gloucester.

The hooker was named captain for the European battle with Dragons but lasted 17 minutes before leaving the field and was seen after the match with his right arm in a sling.

“Niall took a blow to the shoulder, so we are going to have a look at that and see how things pan out with him,” Solomons said.

“I thought Isaac (Miller) did really well. He threw in well at the lineouts, so well done him.”

Fly-half Duncan Weir admitted Annett’s injury was a “big loss” but refused to use it as an excuse as 20 points from the boot of Sam Davies saw Pool One leaders Dragons to victory.

“Obviously Isaac came on but he has been running with us all week, so he knew exactly what we were trying to do,” Weir added.

“With Niall being captain, it was a big loss but we have got a great squad here, so you back the guy that is coming off the bench. Not a lot changed after Niall went off.

“It’s not an excuse for the end result.

“We were pretty confident we could go down here, play our game and come away with a victory.

“Throughout the game that was our thoughts and feelings.

“Maybe we left it a bit too late and got on the wrong side of the referee.

“That builds pressure on a side. It’s just about trying to snap out of that tumbleweed effect with the Dragons momentum.

“It was a scrappy, old affair and we will take the learnings from it because it’s a similar challenge on Friday when we go to Gloucester with the Shed right on you.

“I have been down (to Rodney Parade) many times and we know that the fans are right on you in the dugout side but it’s a great atmosphere to play in.

“It’s about playing our way and not letting the fans get on top and get the momentum.”