Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock has confirmed that Loki Crichton will leave Worcester Warriors at the end of the current season.
Samoa international Crichton, a dynamic and versatile back, signed a two-year deal at Sixways Stadium after impressing at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Equally comfortable at full back or fly half, Crichton has enjoyed many memorable moments for Warriors, including slotting a dramatic injury time penalty this season to defeat champions London Wasps at Adams Park.
The 33-year-old, who has previously played for the Chiefs in the Super 14 competition, Waikato in the Air New Zealand Cup and Newcastle Falcons, has also impressed on the international stage since making his Samoa debut in 2006.
"Loki is coming to the end of his two-year contract at Worcester Warriors and I sat down with him some time ago and discussed whether or not we would retain him at the club," said Ruddock.
"After careful consideration, and in particular being mindful of the number of exciting young players we are producing and in line with our strategy to develop English qualified players, I have had to inform Loki that we no longer need to retain him as a member of our playing squad.
"At this time I would like to pay tribute to Loki and to his whole hearted dedication to the cause. He has been a very popular and flexible member of the squad in terms of his ability to cover more than one position.
"Loki has performed very well during his period at the club and who will ever forget his match winning penalty against London Wasps to gain our first win of the Guinness Premiership season this year.
"He is an excellent athlete with a great skill set and we wish him and his family every success in the future. I would have no hesitation in recommending Loki to another club and it is my belief that he is considering heading back to New Zealand to play rugby there."
Crichton is currently ruled out with an MCL injury to his right knee but Ruddock revealed the club would make every effort to ensure he got back to full fitness before he left.
"Unfortunately since the decision over his future was made, Loki has sustained an injury," he added.
"We will, of course, ensure that we do everything in our power to facilitate a full recovery for Loki and we intend to provide the best possible care and rehabilitation for him before he departs from the club to ensure that he can pursue his rugby career elsewhere."
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.