Fixtures - Top Bar

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

Aviva Community Fund Worcester 140916

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 aviva.co.uk/community-fund from September 13.

Latest News

Worcester Warriors ‘unlucky’ in defeat to Wasps, says Ryan Bower

Worcester Warriors prop Ryan Bower admits it was important for his side to put in a performance against Wasps after their humbling Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat…

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

In-form Henry Purdy desperate to keep improving at Gloucester Rugby

Henry Purdy is refusing to rest on his laurels and has vowed to push on hard, despite praise from all…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Max Clark the centre of attention at Bath Rugby

Back in September – just when Bath Rugby were beginning to count on him in the centres – an ill-timed…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Seven tries success for Exeter Braves over Bath United

Exeter Braves’ Shaun Malton and Levi Davis of Bath United became the first opponents since 2005 to both score hat-tricks…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Worcester Warriors capture Samoa lock Chris Vui

Warriors have completed the signing of versatile Samoa forward Chris Vui till the end of the season. For everything you…

Chris Vui

Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens

Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal. For everything you need to know about Saracens…

Will Skelton

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…

allyhogg16sb1111

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball