HOOKER Niall Annett reckons new Worcester Warriors prop Conor Carey “is someone that will surprise” people next season.

Carey, 27, was in the year below Annett, 28, and scrum-half Michael Heaney, 28, at Methodist College Belfast. He also represented Ulster at youth level where he played alongside the Worcester duo.

The former school pals have now been reunited at Sixways following Carey’s summer switch from Connacht.

According to Warriors’ player profiles, Carey, who weighs 19st 1lb and stands at 6ft, is the heaviest tighthead at the club.

But Annett insists his new team-mate is not just a “big lump” as he believes he has the aerobic capacity to make his mark in the loose.

“I went to school with Conor,” Annett said.

“He was in the year below me back home at the Methodist College and we spent a lot of time together.

“He is a great guy and will fit in very well here.

“He is a big lump but is very fit too. He gets through a lot of involvements for someone of his size and I think that is something the club will be very happy with.

“He is a good scrummager but is someone that will surprise you with the amount of involvements he has (in matches) because of his size.

“It is nice to have people you know around the club.

“I have been away from Ulster for so long that a lot of the guys here are very close friends as well but it is good to have a mix.”

Carey has played for Ireland under 20s but arrives at Warriors as English-qualified player having been born in Ealing. He has also had spells at Ealing Trailfinders and Nottingham in the Championship.

Last season saw Carey make 18 appearances for Connacht but has decided to join Warriors on a two-year deal where he will face competition from Nick Schonert, Farai Mudariki, new recruit Richard Palframan and youngster Joe Morris.

Director of rugby Alan Solomons says Carey has the ability to produce the goods in the Gallagher Premiership and believes he will benefit from working under Warriors’ “outstanding” scrum coach Mefin Davies.

“Conor has done really well for Connacht,” Solomons said.

“I have kept my eye on him and certainly had very positive feedback about him.

“I think he will make a really good contribution to us.

“He relishes his scrummaging and from what I understand he will do well in the Premiership.

“He will work under Mefin who is an outstanding scrum coach. I think it will be hugely beneficial for him to be coached by Mefin.

“Conor is an intelligent footballer and has got reasonably good skills.

“Having changed clubs he is really spurred on to do well and is looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Premiership.”