Centurions Waller and Annett to depart as Sixways shake-up begins - The Worcester Observer

Centurions Waller and Annett to depart as Sixways shake-up begins

Rob George 1st Mar, 2022   0

WARRIORS post-season shake-up of the Sixways playing staff has already begun in earnest with the news centurions Ethan Waller and Niall Annett will both leave the club.

Waller will end a five-year stay and return to Northampton Saints at the end of the current Gallagher Premiership campaign while loyal servant Annett will end eight years at Sixways with a move down the M5 to Bath.

29-year-old loosehead prop Waller arrived at Sixways from Northampton in the summer of 2017 and he has since made 111 appearances for Warriors, the most recent as a replacement against Harlequins at Sixways on Friday.

“I will be forever grateful to Warriors for taking a chance on me and I’m so proud to have reached over 100 ‘caps’ for a club I have loved being a part of,” Waller said.

“I’ve always tried to give my everything to the place and Worcester will always be close to my heart. But the time is right for me and my family to move back home.

Waller made his 100th Premiership appearance against Northampton in March 2020 and his 100th appearance for Warriors at Bristol last November, will leave Sixways with the best wishes of everyone at Warriors.

“Ethan is a model professional player who has been fantastic for Warriors since he came here five years ago,” said Warriors lead rugby consultant Steve Diamond.

“He has been very supportive since my arrival and his desire to return to Saints was evident when I sat down with him.”

In addition to his on-field achievements, Waller is also a chairman of the Rugby Players Association, a position he was elected to last year and which reflects his standing in the game.

“Ethan is a fantastic bloke, who has contributed hugely to the Warriors cause, both on and off the field,” said Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons.

“He is one of the finest men I have had the privilege of coaching. All of us here at Warriors wish him the very best in his new venture.

Hooker Annett, 30, joined Warriors from Ulster in 2014, having captained Ireland Under-20s, and has since made 127 appearances, the most recent against Harlequins at Sixways on Friday.

Annett will be remembered by Warriors supporters for his wholehearted performances and for the last minute try he scored when he came off the bench in the first leg of the 2014/15 Championship play-off final against Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate.

That score proved critical in helping secure promotion back to the Premiership with a 59-58 aggregate win over the two legs.

“Every single member of the club has had an influence on me and I have tried desperately to be the best person I could throughout all the highs and lows during my time at the club,” he said.

“It has been a hugely enjoyable and rewarding journey from start to finish in which I have made some lifelong friends and amazing memories.

“To all the supporters who turned up and gave us nothing but support even when we were facing challenges on and off the pitch, thank you.

Off the pitch, Annett has been the club’s official player ambassador to Acorns Children’s Hospice and he has also gained coaching experience with Old Halesonians and Worcester RFC during his eight years with Warriors.

“Niall has been a fantastic servant of Warriors for eight years and he will leave Sixways with our best wishes thanks for his outstanding efforts on and off the pitch,” said Diamond.

“He is a consummate professional and it will come as no surprise that he remains committed to giving his absolute best to the Warriors’ cause for the rest of this season.”

On the pitch, Warriors travel to the Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday (March 5) to face London Irish looking to bounce back after Friday’s 29-21 defeat to Harlequins.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Worcester Observer.

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.