Rugby Union
Tributes paid to former Warriors chief

By Tim Clarke 29/05 Updated: 29/05 11:30

Buy photos » Former Worcester Warriors director of rugby John Brain (right) has died at the age of 50. Picture by Paul Davies.

TRIBUTES have been paid to former Worcester Warriors director of rugby John Brain who helped the club realise its dream of Premiership rugby.

Brain, who led Warriors to the top flight of English rugby for the first time in its history in 2004, died suddenly after suffering a heart attack at his home on Sunday (May 27), aged 50.

The former second row had been working as Gloucester Rugby's operations manager having rejoined his home town club, where he made nearly 300 appearances as a player, in December 2010.

He previously spent six years at local rivals Warriors after joining as head coach in 2001 before masterminding the club's promotion to the Premiership as director of rugby in 2004, with a perfect record of 26 wins from 26 games.

Brain helped establish Warriors as a Premiership club before heading down the M5 to join Bristol as forwards coach.

A return to his beloved Cherry and Whites then beckoned, first as a scout, and then Rugby Operations Manager.

Warriors centre Alex Grove said he was devastated to hear of Brain's passing, adding on Twitter: "He gave me my first run out for Worcester, always grateful. Top Coach. RIP Brainer."

Warriors legend Kai Horstmann, who also played under Brain, said: "Shocking news to hear about John Brain. He signed me at Warriors and is the best forwards coach I've ever had. Devastated."

A statement from Warriors said: "John joined the Warriors as Head Coach in 2001 and made an enormous contribution during his six-year stay at Sixways.

"He helped the club consolidate its position in the English elite before leaving the Warriors in April 2007. Everyone connected with Warriors is deeply saddened by the news and our thoughts are with his wife and daughters at this difficult time."

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