Pennell open to loan lifeline

Date published: May 5 2014

Worcester full-back Chris Pennell has not ruled out moving on loan to a top flight club next season following the Warriors' relegation.

Worcester full-back Chris Pennell has not ruled out moving on loan to a top flight club next season following the Warriors' relegation.

Pennell has had an excellent season despite Worcester only winning one match in the league, doing enough to be on the six-man shortlist for the Premiership Player of the Year award.

While competition for England at full-back is healthy with Mike Brown leading the way ahead of Alex Goode and Ben Foden, Pennell will certainly be under consideration.

Stating that any discussions about leaving Sixways on loan were for a later date, Pennell underlined his love for Worcester despite a tough campaign.

“It's not a common thing for someone playing in the second tier to be in the England set-up; maybe there's a conversation to be had another time,” said Pennell.

“Next year is a massive year from an international point of view.

“I can't predict the future but at the minute I'm going to be playing in the Championship for Worcester next season.

“I've got a lot of love for this club. They have been amazing to me through difficult times and I owe them a lot.

“A huge amount of that drives my loyalty and it will mean a lot to me if I finish my career knowing that I have shaped a successful future for Worcester.”

Pennell also believes that Worcester have made progress as a club, with dropping down offering a chance to start afresh.

A number of signings for next season have already been made, including Sam Smith, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Andries Pretorius, Tom Biggs and Ryan Mills.

“We've made huge strides compared to the side we were at the start of the season, but that change needed to happen earlier,” added Pennell.

“It wasn't to be. I've been really impressed with the guys that are coming in.

“It's obvious that Dean is trying to bring some youth in, some hungry and ambitious players. People like that can really help move the place forward.

“I know the type of people Dean wants and I'm confident the guys coming in will really add something.

“We know that it's not an easy league and we're not going to take anything for granted. We're going to have to scrap for everything.

“The long-term future has always been really positive but we'll have to deal with the short-term heartbreak.

“We believe in his vision. Being successful isn't easy and we've learned that. It's uncomfortable at times and you need to challenge yourself. I truly believe that Dean and the rest of the coaches are the right people to make this club successful.

“From my point of view, I completely believe in what these guys are putting together. I don't think Worcester resembled a successful environment previously, hence why we've always been scrapping towards the lower end of the table.

“Change needs to happen. I think the Worcester team in two or three years is going to be a completely different animal. We can't afford to just keep ticking the same boxes.”