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Worcester Warriors stuck by me so I’ll stay on, says Chris Pennell

Chris Pennell

The Premiership player of the year nominee has been a model of consistency in an otherwise disastrous Warriors campaign, the only man to have played every minute of all 22 regular season games.

Despite relegation Pennell, 27, was included in Stuart Lancaster’s 20-man England training squad for the Barbarians game this week, although he will have to go some to leapfrog Mike Brown, Alex Goode and Ben Foden for a spot in New Zealand.

Pennell has been linked with a potential loan move back to the Premiership to enhance his chances of international recognition next season but insists he has to repay the faith that club once showed in him.

“I’m contracted here for the next few seasons and I really believe that they are going to be successful seasons,” he told TRP.

“We’ve got a huge mountain to climb and a long way to go, but I truly believe the management have the knowledge to take the club to where it’s been threatening to go for many years now and I really want to be a part of that.

“I want to take the next step and I want that to be with Worcester.

“I’m a loyal guy. I’m aware of the investment that the Warriors have made in me over the years. I’ve had a number of serious injuries that could have affected my development as a player and I feel that I owe the club a lot for that.

“I’m completely committed to getting the club back to the Premiership.

“I’m aware that I’ll have a big role to play in that. We’ll do everything we can to get promoted straight away and I’m confident that we will, but it’s the years after that which are important when we need to start clawing our way back up the table and start competing at the top end.”

Not many players have been selected to represent their country from the second tier, Pennell himself admitted after relegation was confirmed that a spot in the World Cup squad would be difficult.

But after topping the stat tables for both runs and carries this season in the top-flight his case for inclusion in the Red Rose set-up was a strong one and has been duly recognised.

“I am delighted to be part of the training squad and I will be working hard to show what I can do over the next couple of weeks,” added Pennell.

“I’ve been working closely with the coaching staff at Warriors and I feel I have improved as a player over the last year so I’m excited about the future.

“The full-back jersey is extremely competitive and there are some incredible players, including Mike Brown who has been one of the stand-out players in world rugby this season.”

WILL PIPER

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