Worcester Warriors have signed up seven new players for their 2016/17 Senior Academy squad.
Will Butler, Tom Dodd, Ben Fowles, Kailus Hutchinson, and Joe Morris all step up from their schools to become full time professionals, while brothers Afeafe and Navarre Haisila Lokoti move to Worcester from Australia, having played age-grade Union for Melbourne Rebels and League for Melbourne Storm.
Butler, who played for England U18, is a centre and moves from Hereford Cathedral School, and is joined by another England U18 international, Joe Morris, who is a prop from KES Aston.
Tom Dodd moves from the excellent Warwick School, the England Counties U18 man will link up in the back row with another school graduate, Ben Fowles from Solihull.
Kailus Hutchinson, meanwhile, from Denstone College joins an already strong second row unit that includes the likes of Justin Clegg, Charlie Hewitt, Andrew Kitchener, and back row/lock Huw Taylor.
Afefe Haisila Lokotui is a Utility Back, and has represented Tonga U20, while his younger brother Navare is just 16 and, like his brother, can play across the backline.
Speaking at the announcement of the new intake, Warriors High Performance Director, Nick Johnston, said:
“We’re genuinely excited about the talent that’s coming through as we continue to focus our attentions on developing young players for the first-team. Thanks to the backing of the board, the investment in our Academy set-up is already coming to fruition with 17 of our youngsters having played at international level between the Under 16 and Under 20 age groups.”
“We saw massive progression from our Under 18s and Academy last season. We have five players coming up from the Under 18s, while five Academy players have represented England Under 20s.