Omar Mouneimne brought the sport of mixed martial arts to South Africa.

Worcester Warriors boss Gary Gold has brought in former Edinburgh and Italy coach Omar Mouneimne as the Premiership club’s new fitness expert.

Mouneimne, a former mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, has worked with Gold before as defence coach at South African Super Rugby side Sharks.

“I’m a huge believer in fit well-conditioned teams,” Gold told BBC Hereford & Worcester.

“Pre-season will be tough but it will be critical for laying foundations.”

Gold announced on Tuesday he was with Worcester, after saving them from relegation.

Omar’s fight record

“I’ve known Omar for a number of years,” added Gold. “I’ve seen the work he’s done at a number of of different clubs.

“He comes from a martial arts background and has a fantastic attention to detail.

“I’ve been happy with the coaching staff we have but I thought that was one area we could improve on.”

Lebanon-born, Zimbabwe-bred Mouneimne worked under Nick Mallett with the Italian national team for two seasons before joining South African side Southern Kings in 2012.

He has since also worked with Edinburgh, back at Kings, then Lyon, and two South African teams, Pumas and Sharks, where he requested an early release from his contract to go and work for French Top 14 side, Stade Francais.

Short forced to retire

Meanwhile, Warriors academy graduate Andy Short has been with a recurring hip injury at the age of just 26.

Short made his debut in 2010 before moving in 2013 to Bristol, where he spent two seasons.

He returned to Warriors 2015, but has been limited to just eight appearances following a succession of injuries.

Short, who graduated with a first-class honours degree in leadership and management at the University of Northumbria, is now studying for a Masters in building surveying.

“As I hang up my boots, I will be leaving the game behind with a heavy heart but looking forward to whatever life brings me next,” he said.

“My time in the game has been a rollercoaster, with ultimate highs and painful lows, but I wouldn’t change a thing.”

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