BRITISH and Irish Lions legend Donncha O’Callaghan confirmed he is not ready for retirement after signing a new deal with Warriors.
The 38-year-old lock, who made the move to Worcester in September 2015 after 17 seasons with Munster, will continue playing his rugby at Sixways until his is at least 40 years old.
“I’m delighted. If I didn’t feel like I could add something to the game I would walk away, but there is a job to do here and I want to help us push on,” said O’Callaghan.
“Our recent form has been reasonably encouraging and that provides us with a decent platform for next season.
“People often talk about what Warriors can become, but it really is time we started to deliver consistent success on the field. Nothing else is acceptable.
“I believe we have the staff and the squad to compete next season and I’m really excited by the challenge,” he added.
In his first season at Worcester, the Irishman played in all 22 Aviva Premiership games and has yet again been an all-important component of the side this campaign, having made 19 appearances.
O’Callaghan skippered Warriors for the first time in January against Enisei-STM in the European Challenge Cup, before being handed the armband on a permanent basis by new director of rugby Gary Gold.
Since Gold’s arrival, O’Callaghan has captained his side to wins over Saracens, Bristol and Bath, in a run that has seen the club rack up 17 points in seven games.
The Cork-born player has become a firm favourite amongst the Warriors fans and was named the ‘Supporters Club Player of the Season’ in 2016.
During a glittering international career, O’Callaghan made 94 appearances for Ireland and won the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2009. He also played four times for the Lions, and skippered them in the 2009 tour of South Africa.
Gold said: “Donncha is a phenomenon. He must be one of the most professional rugby players in the world and the manner in which he prepares for matches, both mentally and physically, is an outstanding example for any young player.
“We’re delighted he has agreed to remain with the club next season.”