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You’ve got to join a bigger club, Lewis Moody tells Matt Kvesic

Matt KvesicMatt Kvesic needs to leave Worcester to further his international claims, says former England skipper and World Cup winner Lewis Moody.

And Kvesic, whose Warriors contract runs out at the end of the season, may also be feeling that is the case, with the player ready to make an announcement about his future within the next fortnight.

Gloucester are understood to have beaten off opposition from Leicester, Bath and Exeter for his services and Moody, who won 71 England caps, said: “I know how hard Worcester are working to improve but if Matt wants to make that next step then he needs to be playing consistently on the biggest stage.

“To impress the coaches they want to see how you can cope in the most pressurised of environments, the big Heineken Cup games that really test you as a player at all times.”

Kvesic has enjoyed a week to remember after receiving his first call-up to the England senior squad as injury cover for Exeter’s Tom Johnson ahead of the Six Nations.

He was poised to reveal his club future on Monday but the England call-up persuaded him to postpone his announcement.

Long tipped as an England star in the making – Kvesic captained the England U18s and U20s – the 20-year-old has already established himself as first-choice openside at the Warriors, helping them to promotion to the  Premiership  in 2010.

But this season Richard Hill’s side have fluctuated between ninth and tenth in the league.

And Moody added: “It’s tough on Matt because I know he wants to stay loyal but unless things change very soon at Worcester then if he really wants to move on as a player then it will need to be at another club.”

And Hill conceded: “I expect to hear one way or the other soon. He has seen the clubs that wanted to see him, but he has not yet made up his mind which is not bad from our point of view.”

Kvesic’s versatility has  earned him plaudits this season but it is at openside that Moody is convinced the German-born star can make a strongest impression on the international scene, claiming current England captain Chris Robshaw should be looking nervously over his shoulder.

“I really can see Matt going on to challenge Chris Robshaw for the No.7 jersey,” he added.

“I know that Chris is the captain but competition is no bad thing in a squad and I really do think that Matt has the talent to play for England for many years to come.

“It may not come this season, but he will need to keep working hard and playing well for the Saxons and who knows.

“My coaches always used to say you are only one injury away from everything changing so he needs to get his head down, impress Stuart and the coaches and it will not be long before he is an international regular.”

Another 20-year-old back row to impress Moody is Wasps No.8 Billy Vunipola, who has been training with the senior England squad.

Given his chance at Wasps, he has decided to leave Adams Park at the end of the season and join brother Mako at Saracens.

It came as a bitter blow to Wasps, who were hoping to keep hold of their hottest property, but Moody defended his decision, claiming it was for rugby reasons rather than money: “From what I understand Wasps had a sizeable offer on the table for Billy so it was not like money was ever an issue.

“He wanted to be playing with, rather than against, his brother Mako and quite frankly who can blame him?

“Regardless of money, Billy will be playing in a side virtually guaranteed to be in the top four every season. If you look at their strength in depth it’s absolutely no surprise Saracens are going well in every competition.

“Billy will make that team even stronger and in terms of furthering his international ambitions this can only help.

“He’ll be playing in massive games week-in- week-out, something that Wasps couldn’t guarantee.”

CHARLIE TALBOT-SMITH

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