FORMER Warriors captain Jonathan Thomas is to return to Sixways as forwards coach for the 2020/21 season.
The former Wales flanker will take over the forwards coaching from Rory Duncan, who will depart from the club by mutual agreement at the end of the season.
Thomas is currently forwards coach at Bristol Bears and a member of the coaching team under director of rugby Pat Lam which has guided them to the top of the Gallagher Premiership after four rounds of matches this season.
Thomas made 44 appearances for Warriors between 2013 and 2015 before retiring. He has since made a smooth transition into coaching, joining Bristol as defence and forwards coach in 2016 before moving into his current role last year.
“JT (Thomas) shares the passion and ambition we all have for Warriors to become a successful Premiership club,” said Warriors’ director of rugby Alan Solomons.
“He was a popular and respected captain of the club and is excited by the prospect of returning to Sixways and working with a talented squad, particularly the outstanding crop of youngsters we have coming through.
“JT played at the highest level, winning 67 caps for Wales and he also had a long and distinguished club career with Ospreys and Warriors.
“Since ending his playing career, JT has become an exceptional forwards coach and has had the advantage of working under the tutelage of Pat Lam for the last three years.
“I have known JT since 2017 when we worked together during the time I was employed as a consultant at Bristol Rugby. He is a fantastic bloke, an outstanding leader and an exceptionally gifted young coach.
“He is passionate, ambitious and enthusiastic and will be a great asset to the club. I am really looking forward to working with him again,” he added.
Thomas, 36, will not need to relocate when he joins Warriors as he has continued to live in south Worcestershire during his time with Bristol.
His impending return to Sixways has been welcomed by Warriors co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham.
“JT was an accomplished international forward with proven experience as a successful Premiership forwards coach,” they said.
“It’s an exciting time for Warriors with improvements on and off the pitch. JT is joining a great team in the rugby department and it feels like we are building something special at the club.
“It’s great to see the incredible people Worcester has produced now wanting to be a part of the Warriors family again because they believe in the club’s culture, strength and vision for the future.
“JT was a big part of the club’s history and it’s fantastic that he will also now be a part of its future,” they added.
WARRIORS full-back Scott van Breda is to join Guinness Pro-14 side Isuzu Southern Kings on a short-term loan.
Van Breda played two matches for the Kings earlier this month and was man of the match when they beat Ospreys in Swansea to record their first ever win in the competition.
Van Breda, who can also play fly-half, played some of his formative senior rugby at the Kings and will link up with the South African franchise again for their match against Connacht in Galway on November 30.
Before he departs for Ireland, van Breda played for the Cavaliers against Sale Jets in the opening Premiership Rugby Shield match at Sixways on Monday.