SCRUM-HALF Michael Heaney sees his long-term future at Worcester Warriors as he looks to “settle down” in the city.

Having previously signed four successive one-year deals Heaney was delighted to buck the trend in December when he penned a contract that will keep him at Warriors for the next two seasons.

The 28-year who joined Worcester from Doncaster Knights last summer said the new deal felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders and meant he would go into the 2019-20 campaign without fearing for his future.

“Over the past four years I have only signed one-year deals so the insecurity of that is something that I am very happy to have got rid of for the next couple of seasons,” Heaney said.

“It is always nice to feel wanted by any club, but I think Warriors do a good job in making the players feel like they are an important part of what they are trying to do.”

Heaney was among a large batch of boss Alan Solomons’ first-team squad to agree terms before the beginning of 2019.

“Usually players who aren’t out-and-out, first-choice players, (contracts come) a bit further on in the season so I was very happy to sign on,” Heaney said.

“(The spring) can be a very difficult time of year because there is a lot of pressure on you, especially if you aren’t playing or aren’t in good form.

“You don’t want stress from rugby boiling over into outside life, especially when you have a young family.

“So the security of knowing where I am going to be for the next two-and-a-half years made it a lot easier for myself and the rest of my family.”

Asked why he had only committed for one season at clubs prior to his latest deal, Heaney said: “Each circumstance was different. Sometimes it was not ideal to tie myself down for two years.

“But at this stage in my career it is a good time of my life to settle down and hopefully play rugby at Sixways for a few more years.

“We are renting in the city, but we would look to put down some roots somewhere.

“I am not sure where at the minute, but we would like to buy our own place, settle down and if the rugby continues to go well we will have a decent future here.”

Heaney came through the ranks at Ulster, making 29 appearances for his home club, before making the move to Doncaster.

After one season at the Championship club the livewire number nine signed for Warriors. He featured 19 times last term, nine of those outings in the league, and was second choice behind talisman Francois Hougaard.

“It has probably gone as well as I could have expected it to go,” Heaney said.

“When I signed, I was hoping to make the most of any opportunities that I got.

“I have been fortunate enough to play a decent amount of rugby and rewarded with a two-year deal which I am very happy with.”

On his ambitions at Warriors, Heaney added: “I would like to play as much rugby as possible.

“Injury dependent I am hoping to have a few more years after this new contract as well.

“If I can establish myself and rack up a good few appearances for Worcester I would be pretty happy.”