26th May, 2019

Te'o among eight to exit Sixways in summer revamp

Correspondent 28th Apr, 2019

ENGLAND centre Ben Te’o is one of eight Warriors players leaving Sixways at the end of the season in the latest move by director of rugby Alan Solomons to revamp his squad.

Te’o, former Samoa back-row forward Alafoti Faosiliva, flankers Carl Kirwan and Zac Xiourouppa, loosehead prop Jack Cosgrove and two members of the Three Pears Warriors Academy, Mason Tonks and Nick Rigby, will all be moving on.

In addition to the seven players being shown the exit door, former South Africa flanker Dewald Potgieter has announced his retirement from professional rugby.

“We would like to thank all who are leaving for their contribution to the club and wish them the very best for the future,” said Solomons.

Te’o, 32, joined Warriors from Leinster three years ago and has won 20 international caps, two for the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand two years ago, during his time at Sixways.

He has made 33 first-team appearances for Warriors, the most recent in last Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership win over Sale Sharks at Sixways, and has scored eight tries including one in the away win at Bristol Bears last month.

Samoa international Faosiliva joined from Bath in 2016 and has played 45 times for Warriors with his last appearance coming against Pau in December when he scored the opening try.

Kirwan joined Warriors from London Welsh four years ago and has made 28 appearances for the club, most recently in the European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Harlequins.

Academy product Xiourouppa had a spell on loan at Greene King IPA Championship club Cornish Pirates earlier in the season and made the last of his three first-team appearances in the Premiership Rugby Cup match against Saracens in November.

Cosgrove, another Warriors Academy graduate, returned to Sixways in December from Bristol Bears on a short-term contract and made his made his third senior appearance for the club as a replacement in the European Challenge Cup match in Pau.

Potgieter arrived at Sixways in 2016 and made ten first-team appearances before suffering a serious knee injury.

“After being sidelined the last two years following an unfortunate and unrecoverable knee injury, I’m retiring from pro rugby at the end of this Premiership season,” Potgieter said.

“During what was an extremely frustrating period, I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude towards the Warriors for affording me the time to transition to a post-sport milieu.

“I wish the club all the best in their future endeavours, and in particular all the people who made the experience an incredible final pitstop, concluding a supremely rewarding career.”

Tonks, an England Sevens international, signed an academy contract in October having impressed for the Cavaliers in the early-season Premiership Rugby Shield matches.

Rigby joined the senior academy two years ago and made his first-team debut as a replacement in the Anglo-Welsh Cup match against Sale Sharks in November 2017.

“We would like to thank Mason and Nick for everything they have done during their time with the Academy and we wish them well for their future ventures,” said Chim Gale, manager of the Three Pears Warriors Academy.

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