Worcester Warriors star Alex Matthews has left the club to join rivals Gloucester.

The England international arrived at Sixways ahead of the 2020/21 campaign with a big reputation, having lifted the Rugby World Cup in 2014 and been voted RPA Women’s Sevens Player of the Year in 2018.

The 28-year-old flanker has enjoyed further success since then, including winning her 50th England cap and representing Team GB Sevens at the Tokyo Olympics.

Now, Matthews moves on to join Gloucester-Hartpury.

“We understand the personal reasons for Alex’s departure, and we wish her every success for the future,” said Warriors Women director of rugby Jo Yapp.

“Alex joined us when she was transitioning from sevens to the 15-aside game and since then she has established herself as a starting back-row player for England, which is a hugely competitive position.”

Matthews’ new head coach Sean Lynn can’t wait to see her in Cherry and White next season.

He said: “The fact that we are able to attract players of Alex’s talent shows that what we are building here is really special.

“She is an international who has played at the highest level, and she will be a valuable asset to our squad.

“I can’t wait to see her play and help us as we look to build on last season’s performances.”

Matthews is among a host of names waking their through Sixways exit door, joined by Alycia Washington, Ursula Hardy and Lowri Williams.

Washington scored on her debut for the side on the opening day of the 2021/22 season and went on to represent USA Eagles when they took on the Red Roses at Sixways last autumn.

Williams was named Club Person of the Year at the end of 2020/21 campaign while Hardy joined the club after impressing for Worcester RFC.

Yapp added: “Ursula and Lowri have both added real value to the club and we wish them every success both on and off the field.

“Alycia has made a strong impact on the field for us this season and we would like to thank her for her contribution to the team.”

Warriors are expected to announce new signings in due course alongside a new forwards coach to replace Liza Burgess.