LOCK Andrew Kitchener is relishing the prospect of joining Warriors’ senior squad next season.
The 23-year-old lock will graduate from the Three Pears Warriors Academy and is aiming to continue the impressive progress he has made in the 14 first-team games he has played in this season.
“It will be nice to make the step up next season. I’m finishing university this year so I’ll be able to put all my eggs in one basket,” Kitchener said.
“It’s been a challenge to study and play but I managed to spread out my last two years over one year, which helped ease the burden and get a better balance.
“It’s good to have a focus away from rugby and test yourself in a different area.
“I’m looking to try and compete for places; there will be lots of competition in the second-row and in the pack generally. I’m hopeful I can get some more game time and then push on.
“I’ll be looking to get in good shape and improve every season. I feel I’ve been doing that and if I continue to get the processes right I can push for selection and get more games. There will be a big focus on putting on a few more kilos as it’s such a physical league you need to be strong to compete.”
Kitchener will be joined in Warriors’ squad by his older brother Graham who will be returning from a stint with Leicester Tigers having also started his career in the Academy at Sixways.
The brothers played against each other for the first time when Warriors beat Leicester in the Premiership Rugby Cup in November but will be team-mates when Warriors begin their preparations for next season.
“It was slightly strange coming up Graham him earlier in the season,” said Kitchener. “There’s quite a big age difference between us so I grew up watching him and I thought it would be unlikely we would play together. I’ve been to plenty of his matches cheering him on so it was good to share a pitch with him.”