Worcester Warriors fans on social media aren’t fondly looking back at their time with Ben Te’o, who is joining Toulon on a three-month deal as a medical joker for the duration of the World Cup.
Te’o had already left Worcester at the end of last season and was unattached while in the England camp, but after failing to make Eddie Jones’ World Cup squad – perhaps due to a fracas with Mike Brown – he has opted for a cross-channel move to the big-spending Top 14 giants.
This ends the 32-year-old’s international career and will prevent him from being called up to the World Cup squad in the event of an injury. However, many felt his omission from the squad to travel to Japan all but ended his Test career anyway.
Since moving to Worcester from Leinster in 2016, Te’o may have reached lofty heights in international rugby, but his club career barely took off.
He played 16 Tests for England, winning the Six Nations in 2017, as well as playing twice for the British and Irish Lions in the Test series draw against the All Blacks. The powerful centre was brought in by Warren Gatland to negate his former rugby league rival Sonny Bill Williams.
Unwanted England midfielder Ben Te'o has revealed what he will be to during the World Cup https://t.co/xWnLefAYT3
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 21, 2019
On the other hand, across the three years, Te’o only managed to play 36 games for Worcester as he struggled with injuries and seemed to surface as soon as the Test window opened.
Worcester fans – as well as many others across England – have criticised his commitment levels due to what transpired with the Warriors. Now that he has cashed in on a lucrative move to France, he has also been labelled a mercenary.
Then again, if his England career is over, some do not blame him for trying to make as much money as possible as his career winds down.
— RCT – RC Toulon (@RCTofficiel) August 21, 2019
Te’o, though, has been compared to his former Warriors teammate Francois Hougaard, who joined at the same time, but has given everything for his team and established himself as one of the club’s best players.
The centre promised to be a huge signing for the Warriors, but the fans are looking back at a player that played one game for England or the Lions for every two games he played for the Warriors, which is staggering. This is what has been said:
Ben Te’o moving to Toulon after managing only 36 games for Worcester over 3 years at over £30k per game! No loyalty to the club!
— Tom Haslam (@T_Haslam) August 21, 2019
— Neil Clifton (@NeilClifton) August 21, 2019
The very definition of a rugby mercenary. A sad blot on englands copybook.
— Neil (@Wrecker59) August 21, 2019
Stolen a living imo
— RockNRun85 (@RockNRun85) August 21, 2019
Mercenary, but fair play to him
— Mooro (@tom_mooro) August 21, 2019
Ben Te’o is the prime example of the rugby mercenary.
He’s represented three countries, the British and Irish lions and Queensland at state of origin!
He’s a prime example of where rugby has gone wrong.
— OnTheRoadToNirvana (@JHC17626935) August 22, 2019
The reaction is disappointing for the 2014 NRL winner whose international career with England has now also ended in ignominy.
WATCH: Jonny May and George Ford set the scene ahead of England’s World Cup warm-up match against Ireland
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now