Worcester Warriors sign Leinster centre Ben Te'o for next season
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 22/12/15 11:53am
Worcester Warriors have pulled off a coup by securing the signing of Leinster centre Ben Te'o ahead of the 2016/17 season.
The 28-year-old arrived in Leinster in 2014 after making the switch from rugby league - where he played for Australian sides Wests Tigers, Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs - and has developed into highly effective member of the Irish province's backline.
Te'o, who qualifies to play Test rugby for England and has stated his desire to win Test caps, said he is excited about the next step in his career.
"Warriors are in a very similar stage in their playing and cultural development that I found when I first joined the Rabbitohs and I look forward to making a similar contribution at Sixways," Te'o said.
"The investment in facilities and infrastructure is impressive and after speaking with Dean, it is clearly a Club which is on the up.
"Everything is in place for Worcester to become a successful club competing in the top tier and I'm excited about getting started at Sixways.
"Finally I'd like to thank Leinster Rugby for giving me the opportunity to go back to Union and to the fans for their support in particular when out injured. I look forward to finishing the season with Leinster as strong as possible."
Auckland-born Te'o represented Samoa in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, scoring twice in his sole appearance against France, while he also featured seven times for Queensland in the Australian State of Origin series.
Warriors Director of Rugby Dean Ryan said: "Ben is a really exciting talent and has proved he is more than capable of transferring his skills from League to Union.
"His experience and power in the centre will add further depth to our midfield and we're looking forward to him joining up with the side."
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen admitted losing Te'o was a blow but said he will remain a firm part of the club's plans for the rest of this season.
Cullen said: "Although disappointed that Ben is leaving, on behalf of everyone at Leinster Rugby, we would like to wish Ben the very best with his move to Worcester and indeed with his quest to play international rugby.
"Ben is a very popular player within the group and we believe that he can still play a big part in our season.
"He showed in his last season with the Rabbitohs that he has the skill set to apply himself brilliantly in delivering some big performances on the way to helping his club win the NRL title in the full knowledge that he was joining Leinster."