DIRECTOR of rugby Alan Solomons believes experienced lock Graham Kitchener will be returning to Worcester Warriors this summer in his “prime”.

Kitchener has agreed to swap Leicester Tigers for Warriors in a move Solomons reckons “speaks volumes for the direction which we are heading in”.

The 29-year-old is a product of Warriors’ academy and clocked up 72 appearances for the club before signing for Tigers in 2011.

But eight years after his departure Kitchener has decided to re-join Worcester on an undisclosed deal ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.


“It is a fantastic that we have got a guy who grew up in Worcester, came through the academy and played for the first-team,” Solomons said.

“He went off to ply his trade with Leicester but has decided to return home.

“To me that speaks volumes for the direction which we are heading in as a club and what we are trying to achieve here at Sixways.

“I think it sends out a very powerful message.”

During his time at Tigers Kitchener won the Anglo-Welsh Cup in his first season before crossing the whitewash in his side’s Premiership final victory over Northampton Saints in 2013.

The Bromley-born forward who stands at 6ft 6in and weighs 19st has made more than 150 outings for Leicester, 13 of those coming this season.

“He is a very experienced player, very physical lock and a good lineout forward with oodles of experience in the Premiership,” Solomons continued.

“He is a top quality player in my mind.”

Richard Blaze, Miles Benjamin, Mike Williams, Will Spencer and David Denton have all left Warriors for Leicester but Kitchener is now poised to come back to his boyhood club.

“We have normally had guys leaving here,” Solomons said.

“Everybody says when we play another side ‘that guy played for us’ and ‘that guy also played for us’ whereas now we have got a good player in his prime coming back.

“It is a big moment for us as he is an experienced player who is playing at a top level for a big club.

“I think that is a very positive sign for us.”

Kitchener whose younger brother Andrew plays for Warriors has represented his country at age-group level and played for England Saxons but has yet to win a full senior international cap.

“Graham did captain an English side against the Barbarians,” Solomons said.

“But there is not a shortage of locks in England. Even with Maro Itoje out injured they have still got George Kruis, Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes.

“England have always produced fantastic tight-forwards over the years as you can look back to Martin Johnson and Ben Kay. Competition is stiff.

“I have not discussed (his international aspirations) with him but any Englishmen playing rugby in the Premiership aspires to play for England.”