THE long-term vision of Dean Ryan and his Warriors coaching team was the clinching factor that persuaded new recruit Andries Pretorius to join the Sixways club.
The two-cap Wales international has agreed a switch to Worcester from Cardiff Blues for next season and is relishing the new challenge.
South Africa-born back-rower Pretorius, 28, first worked with Ryan and Carl Hogg when he was playing rugby at Hartpury College and was asked to link up with the Gloucester academy.
Although he was never directly coached by the duo in the Cherry and Whites first-team squad, he was often involved in training sessions where he would play on the opposing teams to run similar plays used by Gloucester’s forthcoming opponents that week.
The powerful number eight insists he is not concerned by Warriors’ current standing at the foot of the Aviva Premiership as he has been impressed with the future plans for the club.
Pretorius said: “I understand where the club is at the moment and I am excited about where they want to go.
“They are not happy to just be mid-table and that sits well with what I want to do — I am excited by the challenge.
“Obviously, we are under no illusions as to where Worcester are at the moment, but all of the players Dean is in the process of recruiting are future-focused.
“There is still a lot of work to do, but they have laid the foundations for the club to be successful.”
Having been a member of Wales’ Six Nations squad last season, Pretorius is confident his cross-border switch won’t be detrimental to his international hopes.
He added: “If you look at the number playing abroad now, I don’t think being at Worcester will be a problem — I will be just an hour away from the Wales training camps.
“I have always said that if you are playing well enough for your club, other things will follow, so my number one priority will be to do well for Worcester.”
Pretorious continued: “With the way things have worked out this year — we played Worcester in pre-season, they have visited one of our training camps and we also met in the LV= Cup — I have got to know a few of the boys and they seem to be a good bunch.
“Each time Worcester and Cardiff have come together this year, I’ve made sure I had a chat with Dean and the decision to join Warriors grew from that.
“It has been a tough decision for me to make as I have been privileged to have achieved so much with Cardiff from working up from the academy into the first team, then being made captain and going on to be capped by Wales.”