Worcester Warriors have announced that eight players will be leaving the club at the end of the current season.
England centre Ben Te’o, former Samoa back-row forward Alafoti Faosiliva, flankers Carl Kirwan and Zac Xiourouppa, loosehad prop Jack Cosgrove and two members of the Three Pears Warriors Academy, Mason Tonks and Nick Rigby, will all be moving on. In addition former South Africa flanker Dewald Potgieter has announced his retirement from professional rugby.
All will leave Sixways with the best wishes of the club and with thanks for their contributions to Warriors.
“We would like to thank all who are leaving for their contribution to the club and wish them the very best for the future,” said Warriors’ Director of Rugby Alan Solomons.
He has made 33 first team appearances for Warriors, the most recent in last Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership win over Sale Sharks at Sixways, and has scored eight tries including one in the away win at Bristol Bears last month.
Samoa international Faosiliva joined from Bath in 2016 and has played 45 times for Warriors with his last appearance coming against Pau in December when he scored the opening try.
Academy product Xiourouppa had a spell on loan at Greene King IPA Championship club Cornish Pirates earlier in the season and made
the last of his three first team appearances in the Premiership Rugby Cup match against Saracens in November.
Cosgrove, another Warriors Academy graduate, returned to Sixways in December from Bristol Bears on a short-term contract and made his made his third senior appearance for the club as a replacement in the European Challenge Cup match in Pau.
Potgieter arrived at Sixways in 2016 and made ten first team appearances before suffering a serious knee injury.
“After being sidelined the last two years following an unfortunate and unrecoverable knee injury, I’m retiring from pro rugby at the end of this Premiership season,” Potgieter said.
“During what was an extremely frustrating period, I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude towards the Warriors for affording me the time to transition to a post-sport milieu.
“I wish the club all the best in their future endeavours, and in particular all the people who made the experience an incredible final pitstop, concluding a supremely rewarding career.”
Tonks, an England Sevens international, signed an Academy contract in October having impressed for the Cavaliers in the early-season Premiership Rugby Shield matches.
Rigby joined the Senior Academy two years ago and made his first team debut as a replacement in the Anglo-Welsh Cup match against Sale Sharks in November 2017.
“We would like to thank Mason and Nick for everything they have done during their time with the Academy and we wish them well for their future ventures,” said Chim Gale, Manager of the Three Pears Warriors Academy.
London Irish Confirm 10th Summer Signing Already
London Irish have announced the arrival of yet another new player
London Irish have made their 10th signing of the summer already by confirming the arrival of Ruan Botha from the Sharks.
The South African second-row, who has 64 Super Rugby appearances to his name as well as experience captaining the Sharks, joins on an initial six-month contract in which he will act as cover during the Rugby World Cup.
Once the six-months are up he will link-up with Japanese Top League side Kubota Spears before re-joining the Exiles for pre-season in June 2020 and preparing for the 2020/21 season.
Speaking ahead of the move the 27-year-old talked of how he delighted to be joining the club at a time when they are set to return to the Premiership.
“London Irish is entering an exciting period in its history and I am immensely proud to be joining at such an important time as they return to the Premiership. I look forward to meeting up with my teammates for pre-season,” he said.
Meanwhile, London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney is looking forward to the multiple qualities the massive lock brings with him.
“Ruan being available during the Rugby World Cup period is a major boost to us. He has a lot of top-class rugby experience and will also bring a lot more to the squad in terms of his leadership qualities,” he said.
Botha becomes the latest in a long list of stars to join the English outfit with Allan Dell, Adam Coleman, Sekope Kepu, Paddy Jackson, Sean O’Brien, Nick Phipps, Curtis Rona, Waisake Naholo and Will Goodrick-Clarke all signed up over the past few weeks. The club will be hoping that their good transfer work works a treat as they look to stay up upon their return to the top-tier.
Leicester Set to Sign Another Big Player
Leicester Tigers summer recruitment looks set to continue with the capture of another southern hemisphere star
South African outlet Rapport claim that the 23-year-old former South African U20 captain has already signed the dotted line to move to the Tigers.
The back-rower who can also cover the second-row if needed, suffered a ruptured a small intestine a couple of years ago and it had been feared that it could end his promising career early.
However, after two successful operations he has recover and thankfully rediscovered his fine form from before the injury.
Coming off their poorest season in the professional era where they finished a disappointing 11th following a 32-31 loss to Bath in their final game of the Premiership season, the club has started a massive rebuilding project.
With that in mind they have already signed Jordan Taufua, Tomas Lavanini, Jaco Tuate, Noel Reid and Nephi Leatigaga while also recalling former academy graduates Calum Green and Charlie Clare.
The capture of Liebenberg would add to their push for next season as they hope to stay as far away from the regulation zone of the Premiership table as possible.
Former Scottish International Retires at Just 31
One of Scotland’s most popular players has called time on his playing career
Visser has thanked Harlequins for his chance to play for them but is looking forward to settling down with his family.
“I’d like to thank everyone at Harlequins for the opportunity to be part of such a fantastic club. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I feel now is the time for me to move on to new challenges outside of rugby with my young family. I’m looking forward to trying and proving myself in a completely different career,” he said.
The winger played for Scotland 33 times scoring 14 tries and Harlequins boss Paul Gustard paid tribute to his impressive career.
“Tim has enjoyed an exceptional career and has been a fantastic servant over the past three seasons here at Harlequins. I have thoroughly enjoyed his company and have always respected his commitment, attitude and humour since I joined the club last July. He is an immensely valued and very popular member of the squad whom we will miss. We all wish him and his family the very best as he embarks on a new adventure,” he said.
Visser started his career in the UK with Newcastle Falcons before his move to Edinburgh and then Quins. He also represented Scotland at the 2015 World Cup and scored against the USA in the pool stages and will be remembered fondly among fans of the game.
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