WORCESTER Warriors star Chris Pennell insists he is ready for a hectic campaign on and off the pitch after launching his testimonial season.

More than 100 youngsters turned out at Sixways on Sunday for a free rugby camp as Worcester-born Pennell kickstarted his benefit year.

The 31-year-old is set to stage a series of events over the next 12 months in a bid to raise funds for Diabetes UK, Acorns Children’s Hospice and the Grace Kelly Ladybird Trust.

And with Warriors' players recently returning for pre-season training the long-serving full-back acknowledges he will have a lot on his plate as he looks to hit the ground running in the 2018-19 Premiership campaign.

“I have got a very hectic life anyway with a young family so this will add to that,” Pennell said.

“But there is no problem as I have got a really supportive team behind me.

“I do have a day job to consider and this year is huge for me and the club.

“I will make sure we get the balance right as we want this season to be incredibly enjoyable on and off the field.

“We are really excited and looking forward to the challenge.”

Since making his senior debut in 2007, Pennell has gone on to make 201 appearances for his boyhood club.

He has clinched promotion from the Championship twice and won an England cap when he toured New Zealand in 2014.

But Pennell described heading into his testimonial season as a “very surreal” experience.

“I am still expecting to wake up and go off to university like I was supposed to when I left school,” Pennell said.

“But it means a massive amount to me. It is a very humbling experience and daunting as well.

“It is just a huge opportunity for us to engage in the community and hopefully raise a significant amount of money to go to our three wonderful charities.”

Pennell follows in the footsteps of Worcester scrum-half Jonny Arr who has recently completed his testimonial season.

“We are looking to come off the back of the incredible work that Jonny did and hopefully keep it going,” Pennell added.

“We have got plenty of events in the pipeline but we have just got to wait for the fixtures to come out (on Friday) before we can finalise things.”

Lynette Cutting, honorary education officer at Warriors, was selected as chair of Pennell’s testimonial committee, named CP15.

“Chris has been an extremely loyal servant to Worcester Warriors having played for them at the Premiership level for the last 11 years,” she said.

“This is now our opportunity to thank him and also support his chosen charities.”

Among Pennell’s chosen charities is the Grace Kelly Ladybird Trust which was set up in memory of Grace Elizabeth Kelly from Crowle who passed away in 2014 from a malignant rhabdoid tumour.

The charity's Victoria Billings said: “Chris is a father himself and there will be a lot of young families that come to his events so it is great to have him on board.

“We are working really hard to raise awareness of childhood cancers and funding research into solid tumour cancers.”

Sarah Cope, community fundraiser for Worcester-based Acorns Children’s Hospice, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Chris has chosen us as one of his charities.

“The money raised will go directly towards providing vital care for babies, children and young adults and support families through a very difficult journey.”

For more information on Pennell’s testimonial season, visit www.chrispennell.co.uk.