Rawlinson extends contract with Worcester

Former Blues lock Greg Rawlinson has signed a new deal with Worcester Warriors that will keep him at Sixways Stadium.

Rawlinson had offers from other clubs around the world but has now committed to Worcester.

He has made a huge impact during his time with Warriors since joining in 2007 from Auckland Blues.

The former New Zealand international second row, who has made three appearances for the All Blacks, had attracted interest from teams around the world over his playing future.

But the dedicated 31-year-old has now ended speculation over his future by committing himself to Warriors with a new one-year deal.

Rawlinson follows in the footsteps of Matt Mullan, Miles Benjamin, Chris Pennell, Marcel Garvey, Aleki Lutui and Greg King who have all signed new deals in recent months.

Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock revealed his delight that key figure Rawlinson had decided to stay at the club as Warriors prepare to return to Guinness Premiership action this Saturday against Saracens.

“Greg has signed a one year contract extension to enable him to carry on helping us achieve our goals of moving further up the league table and improving season upon season,” said Ruddock.

“Greg is Mr. Physicality as far as we are concerned at Warriors and his presence in our team really helps us to impose ourselves in a very physical way on the opposition.

“He’s contributed greatly during his time at the club and wants to see club performances grow next season, hence his commitment to stay longer.

“As a former All Black, Greg brings quality to our panel and he is an excellent role model for all the younger players in the club with his dedicated, professional approach and wholehearted commitment.

“We’re particularly pleased that Greg has decided to stay at Warriors after he attracted a lot of interest globally. There were a number of clubs and franchises that attempted to secure his services next season.

“His belief in us now gives us the confidence to keep pushing forward with our game and our plans to improve.”

Rawlinson, who has made a total of 67 appearances to date for Warriors, was born in South Africa and moved to New Zealand in 2002.

The second row rejected overtures from the Springboks to remain in All Black contention and was rewarded with a call-up to face Ireland in June 2006. He became only the second ever South African-born All Black, the other being Andrew Mehrtens who was also born in Durban.

“I’m very pleased to have signed,” said Rawlinson. “I’m now looking forward to the rest of this season, as we look to push up the Guinness Premiership table, and next as I know the club is going in the right direction. That was key to my decision.

“I’m very settled and happy in the UK too so I’m delighted to be able to extend my stay with Warriors and that the club also wants to me to remain a part of its plans.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Warriors so far. There have been a lot of positive changes since I’ve arrived and being a part of that process has been a fantastic experience for me. The future is bright for the club and I’m very keen to be a part of that.

“The fans have also been absolutely awesome ever since I turned up. We enjoy big crowds at home and also on the road, as shown by the numbers we will take to Wembley this weekend. It makes such a big difference and I would love to be able to bring them more success with my new contract.”

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