WORCESTER Warriors are facing a courtroom battle over long-serving prop Tevita Taumoepeau’s acrimonious Sixways departure.

The popular tighthead had his contract terminated in October after it became clear he was struggling to regain full fitness after a serious nerve injury in his neck restricted the movement in his left hand.

I understand Taumoepeau, who has been left disabled by the injury, has filed various legal claims against the Sixways club.

The 38-year-old front-rower, a veteran of some 181 Warriors appearances, had his contract ended last year and it is likely a notice period will now have expired, meaning he has already left the club.

Players usually have a clause written into their contracts giving the club the right to cancel the deal if he misses six months of a 12-month period through injury, though it is extremely rare for that action to be taken.

It has been claimed Taumoepeau’s injury may have been exacerbated by him playing on through the problem due to his importance to the side and his ability to lock out Warriors’ scrum.

When I contacted Taumoepeau to discuss the matter, he said he was unable to say anything due to on-going legal proceedings. Warriors also declined to comment.

Meanwhile, with Taumoepeau’s future clouded in uncertainty, Warriors moved to bring in fellow tighthead Euan Murray on loan, before handing the highly-paid Scottish international a contract for next term.

It is believed that many players at the club are unhappy with the way Taumoepeau has been treated.

The giant Tongan prop has been a rock in the Worcester scrum since joining the club in 2005 from French outfit Bourgoin.