Fixtures - Top Bar

Phil Dowson convinced Ben Te’o will thrive at Worcester Warriors

Evergreen Worcester Warriors back-rower Phil Dowson believes the club have pulled off one of the signings of the season after luring Ben Te’o from Leinster Rugby.

The powerful centre is already on the radar of England boss Eddie Jones and toured in the summer to Australia as the Red Rose completed an historic 3-0 whitewash of the Wallabies.

Te’o, who started life in rugby league and played for the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs, enjoyed a breakthrough season for Leinster last campaign after switching codes – producing a series of powerful performances in the PRO12.

The Aviva Premiership Rugby season may not have started as Dowson and Worcester would have hoped for – they lost against Saracens and Bath Rugby and have drawn with Gloucester and Sale Sharks – but Dowson insists Te’o has been one of the shining lights for the Warriors so far this season.

And 34-year-old Dowson, who made over 180 appearances for Northampton Saints, is backing his new team-mate to have a memorable season for club and country.

“He’s very experienced and is a very good player; he adds a lot to our squad,” said Dowson, speaking at the launch of this year’s Aviva Community Fund alongside team-mates Chris Pennell and Tom Heathcote.

“He’s been in good club environments at Leinster and South Sydney Rabbitohs and brings a lot of experience.

“He’s a strong carrier and, offloading, hopefully we can try and encourage him to get the ball out the tackle.

“He’s still finding his feet and getting used to the Aviva Premiership. It’s not been a long career in union but we see him as a vital part of the squad in how we move forward.”

The Aviva Community Fund is a nationwide initiative that lends a helping hand to local communities by offering support and funding for inspirational local causes, clubs and projects.

It has already benefited over 320,000 people, through 431 winning projects across the UK, and this year, local grassroots sports clubs can apply or reapply for funding in a new, sport-specific category.

And Dowson believes the grassroots level of the game can provide people with skills they may not get anywhere else.

“I think it’s vitally important the game is not just about the professional clubs but also about boys playing Saturday and Sunday, first, second or third teams and schools,” he added.

“The community aspect is vital in getting people to share time together. It can be a focal point of a community and it can breed that team spirit and ability to work in a team which are vital skills.

“I played at school and it was great to go out and play, working as a team, have respect for a team, prepare for games, and it’s great for non-tangible bits as well as skills. The friends you make will last throughout life.”

Dowson picked up the peculiar honour earlier this season of being the only player in the history of the Aviva Premiership to start on 13 separate opening weekends when he appeared against Saracens in the London Double Header.

And the former Northampton Saint believes the management of his workload through his career has been pivotal in his longevity. “It shows probably two things, the first that I am getting older, the second that I have been quite lucky with injuries,” he said.

“There hasn’t been anything too major and I’ve been fortunate to have clubs that have looked after me. I have got through pre-season well and I love the opening weekend – it’s always exciting.”

Premiership Rugby and the 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby Clubs are supporting the Aviva Community Fund, a nationwide initiative which offers funding of up to £25,000 to grassroots sports clubs and other community organisations close to your heart. Enter at from September 13.

Latest News

George North gets first 2017 tour try in dramatic British & Irish Lions draw

The British & Irish Lions concluded their midweek fixture list in New Zealand with a thrilling 31-31 draw against the…

Newcastle Falcons can’t wait for trip to Philadelphia

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards believes that the second Aviva Premiership Rugby regular season match in America can…

Dean Richards

Mark Reddish retires from rugby

Harlequins second row Mark Reddish has today (Tuesday 27th June) announced that he will retire from the game due to…

Mark Reddish

Aviva Premiership Rugby stars to feature heavily in Lions final midweek game

EIGHT Aviva Premiership players will start the British & Irish Lions’ final midweek game tomorrow looking to force their way…

Teofilo Paulo excited by London Irish move but will miss home cooking

Samoan international Teofilo Paulo is making the most of his mum’s cooking ahead of the summer move to London Irish.…

British & Irish Lions beaten in first Test by New Zealand

Two second-half tries from winger Rieko Ioane helped New Zealand to a 30-15 victory in the first Test against the…

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…


Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches