Worcester Warriors give contracts to four academy players
Worcester have continued to secure the future of their brightest young prospects by signing not one but four academy products.
Hot on the heels of a new deal for Will Bowley and a verbal commitment with James Collins, Warriors yesterday agreed contracts with Alex Grove, Jake Abbott, David Lyons and George Crook.
The retention of Grove for the next two years is particularly satisfying. The 21-year-old has broken into Mike Ruddock’s first-team squad in recent weeks and marked his Premiership debut against London Wasps with the game’s decisive try.
The youngster, who has also played on loan with Coventry and Birmingham & Solihull, has capitalised on the season-ending injury to Sam Tuitupou and has made 13 appearances in all, scoring four tries.
Lyons, a developing second row, could be the next Sixways starlet to break into Ruddock’s team. With Craig Gillies requiring surgery on a groin injury that would end his season, Lyons has returned from his loan spell at the Butts Park Arena.
He was 23rd man against Gloucester last Sunday after the late withdrawal of Graham Kitchener and if Worcester secure their Premiership status at Bristol on Sunday he could make his debut at some stage during the run-in after signing a one-year contract.
Abbott, a classic nose-over-the-ball openside, has also agreed to stay for another year. He is out with a broken nose but has made three first-team appearances this term and has also played once for Moseley.
Fly half prospect George Crook has also opted to stay for another year. All four are represented by Tryhard Sports Management.
Meanwhile, Coventry flanker Ben Pons remains on a cardiac ward at Solihull Hospital after being taken ill on the journey back from Saturday’s match at Esher.
n Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School won the Midlands Under-14 State Schools Cup for the first time with a 10-5 win over Northampton Boys’ School in the final at Worcester’s Sixways Stadium.
Bishop’s, whose facilities are used as the Herefordshire centre for the Warriors’ Elite Player Development Group, became the 11th different school to win the cup, which is now in its 13th season.