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LINEOUT king Craig Gillies is on the brink of extending his Worcester career into a twelfth year.

The veteran second row is set to sign a 12-month deal that will complete Richard Hill's secondrow corps for next season.

The 6ft 8ins stalwart, who will be 37 this year, joins James Percival, Dean Schofield and Chris Jones in the Warriors engine room for next term. That means he will surely break the 300-appearance barrier for the Sixways outfit after arriving at the club in 2002.

Gillies is currently on 287 and in recent weeks has shown he is still capable of making an impression in the top flight of English rugby.

After a frustrating start to the campaign in which he had to come to terms with losing his traditional starting berth to club captain Schofield, he then slipped further down the pecking order to fourth choice.

However, an injury to Jones gave the former Richmond and Llanelli forward the chance to convince head coach Richard Hill of his value. Gillies has played in the last eight matches, starting four, and has done his best to stabilise a wobbling set-piece.

As a result, Hill has decided to offer the club legend yet another contract which will be confirmed in the next couple of weeks.

Hill's main priority now is finding a replacement loosehead for Matt Mullan, one of three Worcester players joining Wasps.

He also needs more options in the back row following Blair Cowan's likely move to London Irish although speculation linking Moseley's Ben Pienaar with a move to Worcester is wide of the mark.


STALWART: Craig Gillies.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Mar 10, 2013
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