FLY-HALF Jono Lance is eager to usurp deadeye Duncan Weir as Worcester Warriors' top marksman and start the first game of the season.

Weir proved to be a vital player for Warriors last season as his accuracy from the tee helped steer them clear of relegation trouble.

Lance said his number 10 rival’s kicking consistency, which saw him rack up 231 points in 27 games across all competitions, was a “big motivator” for himself and fellow stand-off Jamie Shillcock.

Australian-born Lance struggled with his goal-kicking during his loan spell at Warriors in the 2017-18 season due to a toe issue.

The 29-year-old also revealed that he opted not to kick last term due to a long-standing back problem with Chris Pennell often taking on the kicking duties when Weir was unavailable.

However, Lance insisted he had been working hard with kicking coach Gordon Ross this summer and was ready to challenge Weir this season.

“Kicking was a massive struggle for me last year because of my back,” Lance said.

“I couldn’t really practise during the week and as a result of that there was no point me saying that I can goal-kick in games.

“When I was playing Chris was available as well and he is a very good goal-kicker.

“I think all the five-eighths (fly-halves) at the club, myself, Duncan and Shilly, are really pushing each other at the moment.

“How well Duncan did last year is a big motivator for me and Shilly.

“I would like to think that I am a very good goal-kicker but watching Duncan I know I can learn a lot from him.

“To be able to train with him throughout the week now I can goal-kick at training is exciting and to work with someone like Gordy (Gordon Ross) is great so I am really looking forward to being a kicker in games again.”

Weir finished second in the Gallagher Premiership’s kicking charts with 204 points — 17 behind Golden Boot winner George Ford — after notching 40 conversions and 33 penalties.

“If you are (converting 80 to 90 per cent of your kicks at goals) you are getting close to getting into the team,” Lance said.

“Duncan was amazing last year and has set a pretty good benchmark.

“Myself, Duncan and Shilly all get along really well but each of us would say ‘I should be the five-eighths and I want to be starting in week one’.

“Outside of that we help each other out and talk after training, providing a bit of advice.

“For me to be able to do goal-kicking sessions with Duncan, who proved he is one of the best goal-kickers in the world, is only going to be beneficial to me.”

Lance was ruled out for four months with a stress fracture to his back and then a problem with his oblique muscles hampered him further in an injury-hit 2018-19 campaign.

But following a long pre-season the Aussie, whose contract is due to expire next summer, is determined to line up against Leicester Tigers in the Premiership Cup opener at Sixways on Saturday (3pm).

“I want to start the first game of the year and from there I want to start the first Premiership game of the year,” Lance added.

“A lot has to happen before then but being able to get into sessions and actually try to better myself in training instead of just hoping to be ready to go for the next day is something that I have enjoyed.”