This is where I will end my career vows hero Big Dave

Home is where the heart is: Tongan hero Tevita Taumoepeau is delighted to remain at Sixways.

Home is where the heart is: Tongan hero Tevita Taumoepeau is delighted to remain at Sixways.

First published in Sport

FANS’ favourite Tevita Taumoepeau has pledged to see out the remainder of his playing days at Sixways.

The rock-solid Tongan tighthead, who has been arguably one of Worcester Warriors’ players-of-the-season, recently put pen to paper on a contract extension and he insists he is going nowhere – despite plenty of interest from other clubs.

The veteran scrummager said: “I had offers from other clubs, but this is Worcester, this is me. I want to stay here, always wanted to stay here. I have been here for many years and I have good friends in the team.

“For me, this is where I stay, this is where I want to end my career. The supporters have always been fantastic with me so I was very pleased to agree new terms and to be able to plan for next season at Sixways.

“When I go shopping, the fans al-ways talk to me. I do not know them but they will talk to me which is nice, I am always happy to shake hands and talk about Warriors and thank them for supporting the team.”

‘Big Dave’, 36, added: “We now have three games left and we want to win them all. My plans for the summer are to maybe go home, to New Zealand and Tonga.

“I have not been back since 2006, that is six years ago, so it would be nice to see friends and family again. Then I will come back and be ready for more rugby with Warriors. The future is exciting for me.”

Taumoepeau also paid tribute to the Sixways coaching staff for getting him into tip-top condition to ensure he spends more minutes on the pitch terrorising opposition front-rows.

He said: “I have been happy with how I have played. I feel fit, in better shape than ever before thanks to the coaches here, and more involved in games. It is not just the scrum, I get my hands on the ball in other areas and I am happy with this.

“We have played well this season and the club has big plans. Hopefully, we can now finish strongly and push up the table. We all dream of the Hein-eken Cup and maybe one day this will come true.”

He added: “I have my part of the game to look at. I have been pleased with how I have played, and working with (defence coach) Phil Larder has been good for me. He has told me to look at how I use my energy, use it in the right places around the ruck and mauls to play my part in defence.

“It has been good to be back in the Premiership. You notice the difference from the Championship, the level goes up and it is hard. What people expect of us is also different now.

“Before we were expected to win but now we must fight for everything. It has been a good season. We have done well and now we must finish it.”

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