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Assistant Thomas to leave Bristol

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Bristol to promote from within after revealing they will lose assistant Jonathan Thomas at the end of this season

Former Warriors captain Jonathan Thomas is to return to Sixways as forwards coach for the 2020/2021 season. The former Wales flanker will take over the forwards coaching from Rory Duncan, who departs from the club by mutual agreement at the end of the current season.

Thomas is currently forwards coach at Bristol Bears and a member of the coaching team under director of rugby Pat Lam that has guided them to the top of the Gallagher Premiership after four rounds of matches this season.

Thomas made 44 appearances for Warriors between 2013 and 2015 before retiring. He has since made a smooth transition into coaching, joining Bristol as defence and forwards coach in 2016 before moving into his current role last year.

“JT shares the passion and ambition we all have for Warriors to become a successful Premiership club,” said Warriors’ director of rugby Alan Solomons.

“He was a popular and respected captain of the club and is excited by the prospect of returning to Sixways and working with a talented squad, particularly the outstanding crop of youngsters that we have coming through.

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“JT played at the highest level, winning 67 caps for Wales, and he also had a long and distinguished club career with Ospreys and Warriors. Since ending his playing career, JT has become an exceptional forwards coach and has had the advantage of working under the tutelage of Pat Lam for the last three years.

“I have known JT since 2017 when we worked together during the time I was employed as a consultant at Bristol Rugby. He is a fantastic bloke, an outstanding leader and an exceptionally gifted young coach. He is passionate, ambitious and enthusiastic and will be a great asset to the club. I am really looking forward to working with him again.”

Thomas, 36, will not need to relocate when he joins Warriors as he has continued to live in south Worcestershire during his time with Bristol. His impending return to Sixways has been welcomed by Warriors co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham.

“JT was an accomplished international forward with proven experience as a successful Premiership forwards coach,” they said. “It’s an exciting time for Warriors with improvements on and off the pitch. JT is joining a great team in the rugby department and it feels like we are building something special at the club.

“It’s great to see the incredible people Worcester has produced now wanting to be a part of the Warriors family again because they believe in the club’s culture, strength and vision for the future. JT was a big part of the club’s history and it’s fantastic that he will also now be a part of its future”.

John Muldoon will take over from Thomas as Bristol forwards coach ahead of the 2020/21 campaign. The 36-year-old joined Bristol Bears in the summer of 2018 as defence coach, helping the club to the highest Premiership finish in twelve years.

Lam said: “We’re delighted that John will be stepping up into the role of forwards coach. He’s excited about the opportunity to build on the excellent foundations that JT has put in place.

“Our philosophy at Bristol Bears is to ideally promote from within and develop our staff to become world-class in their fields. That’s the key thing about our vision, when personnel leave, the systems and structures that have been put in place means that the next person steps in to add value to the good work that’s being done.

“John has all the ingredients to be an outstanding coach, as he has already shown in his efforts with the team defence. We have worked together for a long time and he’s a natural leader. The boys respect him and he knows our systems in great detail.

“The entire management team are closely aligned in everything we do – we want to be the most dominant pack in the league and John can help deliver that ambition.”

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Bristol to promote from within after revealing they will lose assistant Jonathan Thomas at the end of this season