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Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Andy Goode agrees to join Worcester Warriors

Andy Goode
Andy Goode made his England debut in 2005 against South Africa

Relegation-haunted Worcester Warriors have made a major signing for next season by securing experienced England fly-half Andy Goode.

Warriors director of rugby Mike Ruddock first tried to sign the 29-year-old two years ago prior to his move from Leicester to Brive.

But he will finally get his man when he finishes a short five-week deal with South African Super 14 side Sharks.

Goode played the most recent of his 17 games in an England jersey last June.

Coventry-born Goode, who completed his education in Worcestershire at Bromsgrove School, joined Sharks last week following his release by Brive.

He is Ruddock's fourth signing ahead of next season along with back-row forwards Adam Balding (Newcastle), Neil Best (Northampton) and Australian full-back Luke Rooney (Toulon).

"I'm really looking forward to making the move to Worcester," said Ruddock. "I'm excited by the plans the club has and the vision of Mike Ruddock and Cecil Duckworth going forward.

"I've spoken to Mike on several occasions about the Warriors and was impressed by his real passion to bring success and the way in which he sees me being a key role of that development over the coming years.

"I've also been impressed by the club's recruitment ahead of next season, particularly the capture of Luke Rooney who I faced in the Top 14.

"I'm sure Luke will become a real asset to the Warriors and I look forward to combining with him and all the squad at Sixways."

Goode, who helped win four successive league titles and picked up two Heineken Cup winners medals during his glittering career at Leicester, is one of the most prolific scorers in English club rugby history, currently standing third in the all-time Guinness Premiership standings with 1,484 points.

He always displays great composure and calm on the field. His great goal-kicking temperament under pressure to win close games is a huge asset

Mike Ruddock on Andy Goode

Having represented England at Schools Under 18, Under 21 and A level, Goode made his England debut as a replacement for Charlie Hodgson in the 2005 Six Nations victory over Italy.

And, although they still face a real battle to stay up in the Guinness Premiership this season, Worcester are delighted to have brought in someone of his pedigree.

"I believe that Andy's pedigree is without question," said Ruddock.

"He has been one of English rugby's top performers over the last decade.

"He is one of the Guinness Premiership's highest all-time point scorers and, in his first season in France he also showed his skills, ability and quality to adapt to a different environment as he finished as the second highest point scorer.

"His standing and reputation in the game has been further enhanced by his recent move to Sharks and the Super 14.

"He is playing in their tour of Australia and New Zealand and this will only further develop his experience and benefit the Warriors long term.

"Andy brings with him a wealth of experience and is still only 29. He provides very strong leadership qualities and supreme goal-kicking accuracy that can take us to the next level.

"He always displays great composure and calm on the field. His great goal-kicking temperament under pressure to win close games is a huge asset.

"He also fits the English qualified criteria that we are keen to establish even further at the Warriors."

Goode's arrival also spells the end for Worcester's once-capped former Wales stand-off Matt Jones.

The club have confirmed that he will be released at the end of an injury-ravaged season.



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