ENGLAND Sevens international wing Mason Tonks has joined Worcester Warriors academy after a series of impressive displays for the Cavaliers in the Premiership Rugby Shield this season
Tonks, who was previously on the academy at Gloucester Rugby,has also been dual-registered with Birmingham Moseley and he made his debut for the National One club in their defeat by Darlington Mowden Park on Saturday.
Warriors have also dual-registered prop Kai Owen – who made his debut against Darlington Mowden Park – and number eight Tom Dodd with Moseley, taking the number of players currently gaining valuable senior experience outside of the Gallagher Premiership to seven.
Flanker Zac Xiourouppa, a member of the Warriors’ senior squad, is on loan at Greene King IPA Championship club Cornish Pirates, prop Joe Morris and lock James Scott have played Championship rugby for Hartpury College this season and prop Nick Rigby is dual-registered with both Birmingham Moseley and Birmingham & Solihull.
Warriors academy manager Chim Gale said: “Having guys playing in the Championship and National Leagues is of huge benefit to them. It gives them the opportunity to further their rugby education by playing senior rugby week in and week out and that is invaluable, particularly in a period when we do not have a Premiership Shield match for two months.
“It gives guys who have come to us straight from school a taste of rugby reality. We are fortunate to have superb facilities here at Sixways, but not all clubs are so blessed.
“We have excellent relationships with clubs and schools across the region and the other benefit of that is that clubs support us by allowing players to play for us in the Premiership Shield. So it is very much a partnership of equals, not just one side taking all.”
Warriors can also confirm that winger Alex Bartley and back row Tom Fawcett, who joined the academy during the summer, have left the club.
“We thank Alex and Tom for their contributions during their time here and we wish them all the best for the future,” Gale said.