Worcester Warriors are today delighted to confirm the signing of England Sevens star Chris Cracknell until the end of the 2009/10 season.
The highly-rated Windsor-born back row, recently on England Sevens duty in Dubai, will link up with his new team-mates at Sixways Stadium later this week.
The 25-year-old has previously played at Bath Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, Cornish Pirates, Newbury and Harlequins.
A hugely gifted Sevens performer, Cracknell earned rave reviews just last week as he scored two tries as England were narrowly beaten in the IRB Dubai Sevens, where he played alongside new Worcester team-mate Jake Abbott.
Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock said he was delighted to have secured the former England U21 ace.
"Chris has signed a contract that will allow him to be part of our squad and feature for us until the end of this season," said Ruddock.
"I have taken these steps to cover the injury to Netani Talei, who unfortunately will be out until towards the end of the season after shoulder reconstruction.
"It was important that we reinforced this area and I'm particularly pleased to have signed a player of the quality of Chris Cracknell.
"He is a very well respected English qualified back row forward of immense potential. He has learnt his trade playing for teams like Exeter Chiefs and Cornish Pirates and, more recently, he was at Bath until Luke Watson arrived.
"Chris has also featured heavily for England Sevens and is quite obviously a very talented prospect. We look forward to seeing him the Warriors colours before too long."
Warriors youngsters Huw Taylor and Jack Singleton will start for England in the World Rugby Under 20 Championship final against Ireland this Saturday night at Sale Sharks' AJ Bell Stadium (kick-off 7pm).
Worcester Warriors Chief Executive Jim O'Toole has dismissed suggestions made in a national newspaper that the Club is pulling back on its long-term financial commitment to become an established Aviva Premiership Club.