Warriors’ former England Under-20s loosehead prop Kai Owen has extended his stay with the club by signing a contract extension.
The 22-year-old from Shropshire signed his first full contract last year having graduated from the Three Pears Warriors Academy after been given a second chance with Warriors.
Owen was initially released from the Junior Academy but he went away and worked hard on his game and his form for Newport in Shropshire and at county level for North Midlands earned another opportunity at Sixways with the Cavaliers which he has grasped with both hands.
“The challenge for front rowers is that as big men their job description is to do the ugly and unseen parts of rugby, the scrum and maul,” said Warriors Head Coach Jonathan Thomas.
“But, with the way the game has evolved, you also need players who can add value around the field in terms of ball carrying. Kai is very explosive and he’s someone who is genetically gifted.
“Front row forwards do take time to mature but Kai is very clear about what he needs to do to improve and get where he wants to be.
“He needs games and to be part of our conditioning programme but he works very hard and we are excited about his potential.
“He showed good resilience to come back into the Academy programme having been rejected. I have had a few good conversations with Kai about what he needs to do and he is desperate to do well here.”
Owen made his Warriors debut as a replacement in the famous European Challenge Cup victory over Stade Francais in Paris in October 2018 and has now made ten appearances, the most recent at Pau in December.
“I’m grateful and excited to extend my stay with the club,” Owen said.
“I’m looking forward to wearing the jersey and being a part of the vision the club has.
“We have top coaches here and hopefully I can get some decent game time to give back to the club and the fans for the support they have given me.”
Owen has played for played for Birmingham Moseley, Hartpury and Yorkshire Carnegie on loan or dual registrations during his time at Sixways and also played for Coventry against Saracens in a pre-season friendly two weeks ago on a one-match loan deal.
“Kai is another of our homegrown lads, who has committed his future to the club,” said Warriors Director of Rugby Alan Solomons.
“Unfortunately, Kai’s game time this season has been limited because of the COVID factor. He has, nevertheless, trained really well and been professional in his conduct.
“His scrummaging is developing nicely under the expert tutelage of Mark Irish and I have no doubt that there will be good growth in his game next season. Kai is a good lad and first-class team man and we all welcome him continuing his career with us here at Sixways.”