GLOUCESTER star Ross Moriarty has warned he will ‘make things worse’ for people who have abused him on social media if they ‘want to take it to another level’.

He suffered at the hands of abusers after it was announced he was leaving Gloucester at the end of this season to join Welsh region, the Dragons.

And the Cherry and Whites back row has told of the agony he suffered in 2017 after hurting his back during the first British and Irish Lions tour match in New Zealand.

Moriarty played his first game for Wales since their defeat against France in March last year when he turned out in the 34-7 victory over Scotland last Saturday.

He came through with flying colours and is sure to be named in Warren Gatland’s team to face England at Twickenham this Saturday.

But when the Dragons announced in November that the 23-year-old was joining them and leaving Gloucester at the end of the season, the 16 stone powerhouse was harassed.

He did not identify who these people were, but is angered that they hid behind social media and did not question him in person.

Moriarty said: “I am a very straight person. If someone comes up to me and speaks to me personally, I am happy with that, but when people are saying other things and people are being told things that aren’t necessarily true, and then writing them on the internet, then that doesn’t swing right with me.

“If someone has a problem, that’s absolutely fine. Come and speak to me personally. That’s the way I deal with things. But if someone wants to take things to another level, then I will make things worse for them.

“It’s easy for people to say things which aren’t true to people who don’t really understand what is going on.

“There are a lot of people who say things on the internet who have never had any experience in rugby, in professional sports, but act like they’ve coached the All Blacks. That’s the way it is. That is the sad reality. That is the way social media works.”

Moriarty’s troubled year began when playing at blindside flanker in the Lions’ first game of their 2017 tour in an unconvincing 13-7 win over a New Zealand Provincial Barbarians team but suffered a back problem, playing on to the end.

He said: “Two of the discs slipped in my back and jammed into the nerves of my legs, so the muscles on my legs stopped working.

“I think it was a build-up of loads over time. I think it was a twist in the game. There were two instances when I felt something pop in my back and I thought it was hip-cracking.

“But it was obviously my disc popping out of place.

“I couldn’t run, I couldn’t stand on one leg, I couldn’t walk upstairs, couldn’t walk downstairs and that’s actually one of the things I had to do after training to see how it was coming on. That was to see if I was able to walk upstairs without using the bannister. It was quite a tough time.”

And Moriarty said surgery was not available to cure the problem. “No surgeon would go in there because they said it was too close to the nerve and, if they damaged it, that would basically be me done.

“It was a lot more serious than I expected. I went to see four different surgeons and none of them would think of touching it.

“It was tough to hear. Sometimes I’d be flying on rehab. In the early stages things would be going well and then I came back and played and thought I’d be fine. And then I can’t train again and run again.”

Now he is fully fit and ready to give his all for Wales and for Gloucester in his final weeks at a club he joined after studying at Hartpury College.

“I am just really looking forward to it. I haven’t played too much rugby this season, but I have confidence in what the conditioners have been doing with me.”