Ambitious Worcester have made their latest statement of intent, signing England scrum-half Willi Heinz from Gloucester for the 2021/22 season. The 34-year-old has won 13 Test caps since his August 2019 debut. “As we have said publicly since we have come in as coaches, recruitment and retention are really important,” said Warriors head coach Jonathan Thomas.
“The impact of COVID-19 means that the salary cap is being reduced so you have to be smarter than ever with your recruitment. We are looking for cultural architects, people who can add value as a player first and foremost but also to the environment here at Sixways and helping the development of our young, homegrown players.
“Willi is a really valuable addition to our squad. He is an international player – and has been recently – which is a huge thing for the club. Willi has an outstanding reputation from cultural and leadership aspects. He has experienced rugby in different parts of the world, he’s a huge addition to the club and I’m thrilled that he is joining us.”
Heinz made his name with the Crusaders in New Zealand before joining Gloucester in 2015 and he now joins Scotland winger Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh), tighthead props Jack Owlett (Wasps) and Christian Judge (Bath) and fellow scrum-half Will Chudley (Bath) as new Worcester additions for next season.
“After speaking with Alan Solomons, Jonathan and all the coaches I’m delighted to be joining Worcester at an exciting time in the club’s history,” said Heinz. “They have a very clear vision of where they want to take the club. I still feel like I have a lot to give in my career and want to be part of what is an exciting journey the club is embarking on.
?? Willi Heinz is coming to Sixways!
— Worcester Warriors (@WorcsWarriors) February 23, 2021
“I have really enjoyed my six seasons at Gloucester, an iconic club in English rugby. I still am entirely committed to the team until the end of the season and hope that before it ends, we can run out in front of fans at Kingsholm once more.”
Gloucester boss George Skivington added: “Willi has been a great player for the club and although he has not played as much as he would like to have done during my time here, he is the consummate professional and we know that he will be committed to end his time at Kingsholm on a high.
“We respect his decision to leave for pastures new and when the times comes we will wish him all the best for his new challenge. We’re fortunate in having several exciting young scrum halves in the squad and we’re sure they’ll play a big part in our success in coming seasons.”
'…the chances of injury are high just because of the nature of the game but the moment you start fearing that is going to happen to you, that is when those things start to happen'
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 21, 2021
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