Rugby Union
Warriors swoop for Titans duo

By Gary Smee 15/03 Updated: 16/03 09:11

Buy photos » Semisi Taulava. (s)

GIANT number eight Semisi Taulava and powerhouse prop Rob O'Donnell are on their way to Worcester Warriors next season after signing from Rotheram Titans.

The star pack duo, who have shone in the RFU Championship side this year, will join Warriors for the start of the 2012/13 season.

Tongan enforcer Taulava, who stands 6ft 5in and weighs 20 stone, has made his impact known throughout the second tier this term to attract a number of admiring glances from the top-flight.

The agile 29-year-old has previously played at Wanganui, Taranaki, Worthing and at Birmingham & Solihull before his year at Titans.

Forwards coach Phil Davies said he was confident Taulava could make the step up.

"If you look around the Aviva Premiership for outstanding ball carrying Number Eights you automatically think of the likes of Nick Easter and Ben Morgan," he said.

"We feel Semisi can become one of those kinds of player for us.

"He is a very big forward who carries the ball well and has all the right attributes to make a massive impression here. He is destructive with his size and asks questions of everyone he plays against."

O’Donnell, who has had playing spells at Sale Sharks and Waterloo, is also 6ft 5in and weighs more than 19 stone.

The highly-rated prop, 26, has been a key component in the powerful pack at Rotherham in recent times.

Davies added: "Everybody is always looking for quality tighthead props and we have been very fortunate in recent times that Tevita (Taumoepeau) has been the cornerstone of our pack.

"Rob has been, in my opinion, the outstanding tighthead prop in the RFU Championship.

"We feel he has fantastic potential to develop into an outstanding prop in the Premiership. He is a strong scrummager and is an abrasive player with ball in hand. He is also a good defender, especially around the rucks.

"He is the right character fit for us, a team man who works very hard. Both Rob and Semisi will be excellent additions to our squad."

Buy photos» Rob O'Donnell. (s)

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