Worcester sign Kiwi centre Willison

Date published: January 8 2016

Worcester have signed New Zealand's Jackson Willison from Top 14 side Grenoble ahead of the 2016/17 season.

The centre has a wealth of experience at the top level, having spent five seasons in Super Rugby, where he won the title with New Zealand side the Chiefs in 2012.

During his three seasons at the Chiefs, Willison featured 37 times and crossed the try-line on six occasions, before moving north to Auckland to join the Blues from 2013 to 2014.

The 27-year-old also captained ITM Cup side Waikato, bagging 13 tries in 50 appearances while helping the North Island outfit reach the final in both 2010 and 2011.

Willison then made the move to France to join Grenoble ahead of the 2014/15 campaign and has gone on to make 33 appearances for the club across the Top 14 and Challenge Cup competitions.

The back also won the Junior World Championships with New Zealand Under 20s in 2008 and has gone on to feature seven times for the Maori All Blacks.

Director of Rugby Dean Ryan said: "Jackson is a talented athlete and will add some real firepower to our midfield. 

"He is an exciting player with experience in both the Southern and Northern Hemisphere and has played alongside some of the biggest stars in the game which will stand in him in good stead ahead of his move to the Premiership."

Willison said: "Worcester are a club which are definitely moving forward and, after speaking with Dean, I felt this was a great opportunity for me. 

"I've had a great time in France with Grenoble and hopefully we finish this season very successfully which is my current focus.

"But I felt this was the right time to move to the UK and will be looking forward to playing in England and I'm excited to be a part of the journey on which the club is embarking."