Willi Heinz: Worcester sign Gloucester and England scrum-half for 2021-22

Willi Heinz and Ben Youngs
Willi Heinz (right) was vying with first-choice Ben Youngs for the England number nine shirt until being sidelined by injury

Worcester Warriors have signed Gloucester and England scrum-half Willi Heinz for the 2021-22 season.

Heinz, 34, has signed an undisclosed-length deal to become Warriors’ fifth signing for next term.

To counter-balance the impending departure of Francois Hougaard this summer, Warriors have also signed Bath scrum-half Will Chudley.

Their other three signings are props Christian Judge and Jack Owlett, and Scotland winger Duhan van der Merwe.

“I still feel like I have a lot to give in my career,” said Heinz. “I am delighted to be joining Worcester at an exciting time in the club’s history.”

New Zealand-born Heinz, who has four England caps, has been at Kingsholm since joining Gloucester from Crusaders in 2015.

“Willi is a really valuable addition to our squad. He’s an international player – and has been recently – which is a huge thing for the club,” said Warriors head coach Jonathan Thomas.

“As we have said publicly since we have come in as coaches, recruitment and retention is really important.

“The impact of Covid-19 means that the salary cap is being reduced so you have to be smarter than ever with your recruitment.

“We are looking for cultural architects, people who can add value as a player first and foremost but also to the environment here at Sixways and helping the development of our young, homegrown players.”

Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons added: “Willi is an outstanding scrum-half with superb game management, communication and leadership skills. Moreover, he is a first-class bloke and a loyal team man.”


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