Will Butler extends his Warriors contract

Warriors centre Will Butler has become the fourth player this week to sign a contract extension with the club.

Butler, another graduate of the Three Pears Warriors Academy, was appointed Assistant Club Captain last summer and led Warriors in Gallagher Premiership matches at Exeter Chiefs and Bath Rugby at the end of last season and in the European Challenge Cup match in Pau in December.

“The challenge of this season is that, because of COVID-19, our young players have not had their normal game time with no Premiership Rugby Cup or Shield and the European competitions being shorter,” said Warriors Head Coach Jonathan Thomas.

“Will is desperate to play and he is pushing hard for a first team place.

“He is a great professional and as, a young man, he has had a few injuries to deal with which has been frustrating for him.

“But everyone knows and recognises his potential and as a leader, hence the reason why he is Assistant Club Captain to Ted Hill.

“We have talked about the club identity and making sure that our young homegrown players come through and really drive the club forward and Will is a big part of that.”

Butler, 22, played his formative rugby for his hometown club Ledbury, and county rugby for Herefordshire and North Midlands before he joined the Senior Academy at Sixways in 2016.

“It’s really pleasing to re-sign for the club,” Butler said.

“I haven’t had too much rugby recently owing to the circumstances but it has been really good working with the new coaching team.

“I like where the club is going and the mindset that the new coaches have as a group. I think we are building something exciting here.

“It’s good to see so many players who have come through the Academy re-signing and also buying into where we want to go. It’s key to have a core group of young lads driving it for the future.”

Having represented England at Under-17 and Under-18 levels, Butler helped England win an Under-20s Six Nations Grand Slam in 2017 before captaining the side – which had Warriors team-mate Hill in the ranks – the following year.

“I am delighted that Will, yet another of our homegrown products, is staying on here at Sixways,” said Warriors Director of Rugby Alan Solomons.

“Will is a talented rugby player and a good leader, whose game time in recent seasons has, unfortunately,  been curtailed by injury.

“I am confident though that next season will be different and that he will be able to showcase his talent.

“Will is a terrific young lad, who, at an early age, has shown good leadership qualities. He is a great team man and adds huge value to the squad. We all look forward to continuing working with Will as we seek to progress things here at Sixways.”