CONTRACT talks are underway at Sixways with director of rugby Gary Gold aiming to retain the “core” of his Worcester Warriors squad.

Gold revealed he had held “positive” meetings with players whose deals run out at the end of this season.

Flanker Sam Lewis has already committed his future to the Aviva Premiership club after putting pen to paper last week.

But the Worcester News understands the contracts of almost half the squad, including the likes of Will Spencer, Ryan Mills and Jackson Willison, are due to finish next summer.

Gold, who is set to take over as USA’s head coach, admitted he was in a “chicken and egg” situation with Warriors up for sale and looking for a new director of rugby. But he felt the club were in a “healthy” position and said the situation behind the scenes would be resolved in a “reasonable space of time”.

“They have gone well and progressing nicely,” he said.

“I have had positive chats with the guys and by in large I have been pretty happy with the responses I have had from players.

“I think the guys are very positive and upbeat at this moment in time. All we want to really concentrate on is getting back to winning ways consistently and I think in the next month or so we will be able to share a little bit more information with you.”

Warriors moved five points off the drop zone after back-to-back bonus-point victories. They defeated Northampton Saints 30-15 before claiming an impressive 31-27 win at high-flying Leicester Tigers last Saturday.

But Gold admits only “winning consistently” will play a big factor when players come to decide where their futures lie.

“Everybody at the club is ambitious and nobody wants to be sitting at the bottom of the Premiership,” he said.

“We want to aspire at this stage in our life to be a mid-table team and we are way off that at the moment. It is a bit of a chicken and egg (situation) at the moment because we need this core group of players to stay around and stick with us. We know if that happens we can kick on.

“But they also want to know that the club is in a good position. I believe it is in a healthy position and there is an ambition here.

“We have had talks and they have gone positively.”

Alongside looking for new ownership, Warriors’ bosses are searching for someone to permanently replace Gold. The deadline for applications closed two weeks ago.

“I am sure it will be resolved in a reasonable space of time,” Gold added.

“I am obviously not involved in that process.

“But I know that behind the scenes the guys are working hard and they are having various conversations. I know they realise the importance of getting it resolved. It’s not going to be something which is left lingering.”