Gj Van Velze

Gerrit-Jan van Velze


Gerrit-Jan van Velze arrived at Sixways in the summer of 2014 after two years as a regular at Northampton Saints and was named as captain ahead of the Greene King IPA Championship season.
The number eight played 45 games during his time at Franklin's Gardens and came on as a replacement during the 2012/13 Aviva Premiership final against Leicester Tigers at Twickenham.
He has also been a regular in the Heineken Cup and has a reputation as one of the brightest back-row prospects in South Africa.
Before his move to England, Van Velze was part of the Blue Bulls squad and twice captained the province's junior team to the Vodacom Cup.
He also captained South Africa Schools and was nominated for the IRB Under 19 Player of the Year in 2007.
He worked his way through the ranks at Loftus Versfeld to become a key member of the Bulls' Currie Cup squad before making his Super Rugby debut in 2010.
Van Velze captained Warriors to promotion back to the Aviva Premiership in his first season at Sixways and led the side to a tenth place finish in their first campaign in the top-flight before signing a contract extension at the Club.

Jonathan Thomas


Vastly experienced back row Jonathan Thomas joined Warriors from RaboDirect PRO12 side Ospreys and was instantly named captain. During a decade with the Welsh region, Thomas racked-up 188 appearances and helped his side to two RaboDirect PRO12 titles and two second-place finishes. He also appeared in 52 Heineken Cup matches and scored 14 tries in all competitions. The 6ft 5in, 17st 13lb flanker, who can also operate at Number Eight or lock, has also impressed on the international stage making 67 appearances for Wales, scoring seven tries. Thomas broke into the Welsh set-up during the summer tour to Australia in 2003 and later played a starring role in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. His eye-catching performance against New Zealand in the final group game announced his talents to the wider rugby world. The Pembroke-born ace was named in eight consecutive Six Nations squads between 2004 and 2011 and featured in the Grand Slam winning teams of 2005 and 2008. Thomas was also selected for the 2007 Rugby World Cup and appeared against Canada before scoring against Australia.

Dean Schofield


Warriors announced the signing of former England international lock Dean Schofield from French giants RC Toulon in 2012. Destructive second row Schofield, who previously played for Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership, made the move to Sixways from the start of the 2012/13 season. Schofield already has a huge reputation in the English top-flight, having played for Sale Sharks between 2001 and 2010 and featuring in 162 games for the club. He was named Sale captain during the 2009/10 season. After impressing Richard Hill with his leadership qualities during pre-season, Schofield was named Warriors captain for the 2012/13 season.

Chris Pennell


Chris Pennell is one of the star performers at Sixways after making a stunning impression in the senior side in recent seasons, culminating with being named club captain in 2010. Supremely talented and versatile back Pennell, another product of the successful Warriors Academy, first burst into the senior team during the 2007/08 season when he made his Premiership debut against Bath Rugby. Worcester born-and-bred, Pennell has represented England at Under-19 level.

Pat Sanderson


Talismanic former Sixways skipper Pat Sanderson joined the club in 2004 and led the team for six seasons in the top-flight of English rugby. He played a total of 156 games for Warriors during seven seasons, scoring 24 tries. The back row and former England international captain announced his retirement from professional rugby in August 2011 on medical grounds after suffering a serious shoulder injury in the RFU Championship play-offs against Bristol.

Ben Hinshelwood


Ben Hinshelwood, son of famous Scottish winger Sandy Hinshelwood, was the outstanding sportsman in his days at North Sydney Boys High School. He joined the University of Sydney Rugby Union team where, as a centre, he helped secure the 2001 Premiership before leaving for England where he played fullback for Worcester Warriors. He was been capped by Scotland and played in the World Cup in 2003 before retiring from the game in 2005.

Werner Swanepoel


South Africa international Werner Swanepoel will always ben fondly remembered at Sixways as the captain as Warriors won promotion to the Premiership. The Bloemfontein-born scrum half made a total of 20 appearances for the Springboks and returned to his homeland after his spell with Worcester.

Kingsley Jones


Kingsley Jones won 10 caps for Wales between 1996 and 1998, once as captain. As a flanker, he played his club rugby for Ebbw Vale RFC, Pontypridd RFC, Gloucester and Warriors, where he captained the team in 2001. He also had a brief spell as player coach at Doncaster before moving to Sale as forwards coach. He left Sale in 2011 and was appointed Head Coach of Russia.

Alistair Murdoch


Australian international centre Alistair Murdoch joined Warriors from Bedford Blues and captained the club in the National Leagues before leaving in 2001.

Bruce Fenley


Bruce Fenley enjoyed a successful four year spell at Sixways before leaving to become a player/coach at Stourbridge. The scrum-half joined Worcester from Gloucester in 1996 and led the club to two championships and the brink of Premiership One.

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Championship XV v Canada, Sunday 2nd November 2014, KO 1515

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