Worcester Warriors

Worcester Warriors

Rugby team
teamname = Worcester Rugby

fullname = Worcester Rugby Football Club
location = Worcester, England

founded = 1871
ground = Sixways Stadium
capacity = 13,200
chairman = flagicon|ENG Cecil Duckworth
coach = flagicon|WAL Mike Ruddock
captain = flagicon|ENG Pat Sanderson
league = Guinness Premiership
season = 2007-08
position = 10th
url = www.wrfc.co.uk
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The Worcester Rugby Football Club are an English rugby union club. The club's first team are members of the Guinness Premiership and use the nickname Warriors. They also compete in the Anglo-Welsh EDF Energy Cup and the European Rugby Cup competitions, as well as this they participate in the Guinness A League. The club's kit is made by sports manufacturer Kukri and they are sponsored by npower. They play at Sixways Stadium, and the team colours are blue and gold.



The club was founded in 1871 by the Reverend Francis John Ede, with the first known game played against the Artillery on November 8th 1871. The club began playing at Bevere in Worcester in 1954 and left Bevere for Sixways in 1975 when the clubhouse was opened. When the league system was formed, the club was placed in North Midlands Division One, a level eight league.


Due to extensive support from their backer Cecil Duckworth, the club were able to build a strong team and promotion after promotion followed. In 2006, extremely ambitious plans were announced for a £23 million development programme, which would see a health club with fitness centre and swimming pool, fully tarmaced park and ride area, and expanded capacity, estimated to be 13,000.

Promotion to the Premiership

Worcester Warriors were promoted to the Zurich (now Guinness) Premiership after winning National Division One in 2003/2004 with a perfect record of 26 wins from 26 games, something that had never before been achieved. They were the bookies, and many of the rugby pundits odds on favourites to go straight back down but defied the odds to stay in the Premiership for another season, finishing ninth in the league, after wins against teams including Harlequins, Leeds, a historic victory against Premiership Champions London Wasps and Northampton in a 'winner takes all' end of season finale, which they won 21-19. This match was shown live with more twists and turns off the pitch as well as on it, with then Northampton player, Shane Drahm, who had signed for Worcester eventually starting, and successfully kicking almost everything, after press releases by Northampton stating that he would be a substitute. In the 2004/2005 season, despite Premiership survival being their ultimate aim, they reached the final of the defunct European Shield at Oxford's Kassam Stadium, after beating Leeds Tykes in the semi - final. They eventually lost out to the French side Auch. They also managed to achieve a play - off match for the Heineken Cup against Saracens, but their long fight for Premiership survival and an injury-ravaged squad meant that they lost. Their achievements for that season meant that they had achieved much more than they had originally hoped for, as well as earning the respect of the other Premiership sides in the process.

In the 2005 / 2006 season, they reached the quarter - finals of the European Challenge Cup after finishing top of their pool with five wins out of a possible six, above Connacht, Montpellier Herault and Amatori Catania, and faced an away match against Northampton Saints on April Fool's Day, which they won, in what was described by sports writers as some of the best rugby they have played all season. They reached the semi - finals where they faced Gloucester Rugby in a local derby showdown, with it being the third time they had played Gloucester that season, with the European match being played the week after the Premiership match at Kingsholm. Despite playing some thrilling rugby, and looking much more solid as a team than the previous week's Premiership performance, they were knocked out of the competition. The European Challenge Cup is now a much more important competition to Worcester as it offers them a route into the Heineken Cup, which is the next stage in the club's development, and with the 2006/2007 season being their third season in the Premiership, something that is now a very realistic goal.

In the 2005-06 Guinness Premiership, they avoided relegation and were safe much earlier in the season, which meant that they avoided a repeat of last years relegation battle on the last day of the season. This was a huge achievement considering that this is still only their second season in rugby's top flight. They have again re - written the history books, by chalking up a very special 15-11 victory against the Leicester Tigers and a 37-8 victory against London Wasps, along with victories against Saracens, London Irish, Northampton Saints, Leeds Tykes, Bristol Rugby and a first day of the season draw against Gloucester Rugby, and getting their first points (a try bonus point and a losing bonus point) against Bath. During the match against Newcastle Falcons at Sixways, the club made history as twins Lee Fortey and Chris Fortey made history as the first twins to ever play on the same team in a Premiership match. The season culminated in an 8th place finish in the league on 47 points, one place higher than 2004/2005, with the same amount of wins (9) but more bonus points and a draw, missing 7th position due to Newcastle Falcons having a better points difference, secured on the last day of the season.

In the 2006-07 season Worcester didn't get off to a very good start and for the majority of the season they were positioned in 12th place, but a good run of form which involved beating some of the top sides in the Premiership helped them to survive relegation and send the once Heineken Cup champions Northampton Saints saints down into National Division One.

For the 2007-08 season Worcester had brought in several big name players, the most well know being the All Black Rico Gear. But they again didn't start off very well in the premiership and didn't record their first victory until after Chistmas. While they were stuggling in the premiership they were enjoying good success in the European Challenge Cup, progressing through the group stages. After Christmas their premiership formed picked up and they beat top teams such as Gloucester, Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks, which subsequently saw them move out of the relegation zone, Leeds Carnegie replacing them. They progressed even further in the ECC and beat off Montpellier Hérault RC in the quarter-final and saw off Newcastle Falcons in the semi-final which set up a final against Bath. Leeds Carnegie could not survive relegation and were relegated well before the end of the season. The final against Bath was a disapointment to many as they lost 24-16, but many fans argued that the game could have been changed by two possible sin-bins for Bath players.

In 2008 Worcester pulled off one of their largest signings ever by signing Australian international Chris Latham for the 2008-09 season.

Current Standings

Current Squad

rugby squad player | nat=ENG | pos=FL | name=Pat Sanderson (c)

Internationally Capped Players

* Chris Latham
* Pat Sanderson
* Netani Talei
* Rico Gear
* Greg Rawlinson
* Sam Tuitupou
* Loki Crichton
* Dale Rasmussen
* Aleki Lutui
* Tevita Taumoepeau
* Chris Horsman
* Matthew Jones
* Hal Luscombe
* Darren Morris
* Ryan Powell

Other International Honours

* Johnny Arr (England U20)
* Miles Benjamin (England U20)
* Will Bowley {England U18, U19, U21)
* James Collins (England Sevens)
* Matthew Cox (England U20, U21)
* Charlie Fellows (England U18)
* Marcel Garvey (England U21, England Sevens, England Saxons)
* Craig Gillies (England Saxons)
* Alex Grove (England U21)
* Kai Horstmann (England Sevens, England Saxons)
* Matt Mullan (England U20, U21)
* Jordan Page (England U18, U19)
* Chris Pennell (England U18, U19)
* Callum Black {Ireland U18, U19, U21)

Notable Former Players

* Shane Drahm
* Drew Hickey
* Tommy Hayes
* Ben Clarke
* Andy Gomarsall
* Tony Windo
* Nicholas Le Roux
* Thomas Lombard
* Siaosi Vaili
* Ben Hinshelwood
* Thinus Delport
* Andre Van Niekerk

Club Honours

* North Midlands Cup Winners 1977-78
* North Midlands Division One Champions 1989-90
* Midlands Division Two Champions 1992-93
* Midlands Division One Champions 1994-95
* North Midlands Cup Winners 1995-96
* National Division Five North Champions 1995-96
* National Division Four North Champions 1996-97
* Jewsons National League One Champions 1997-98
* North Midlands Cup Winners 1997-98
* Powerline Floodlit Cup Winners 1997-98
* National Division Two Champions 1999-2000
* National Division One Champions 2003/2004

Premiership Finishing Positions

Charitable Causes

Cecil Duckworth is a trustee of the Wooden Spoon, the charity of British rugby, supporting disadvantaged children. In January 2007, Worcester opened a [http://www.wrfc.co.uk/196_1011.php|"Playing for Success"] centre, supported by Spoon.

External Links

* [http://www.wrfc.co.uk/ Official Site]
* [http://www.rugbynetwork.net/main/s130 Come On You Warriors, Unofficial Supporters' site on Sportnetwork]
* [http://www.sixwaysrugby.co.uk Independent Supporters' Site]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/my_club/worcester/default.stm BBC Rugby Union - Worcester]
* [http://www.guinnesspremiership.com/154_157.php?PHPSESSID=51cdbd9a46bf78b43f1d7255f622ea97 Guinness Premiership - Worcester]
* [http://www.ercrugby.co.uk/eng/148_5569.php European Rugby - Worcester]
* [http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/sport/wrfc/ Worcester News - Warriors]
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Npower_(UK) npower UK]

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