7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
The wing sensation, who has scored ten tries in 18 caps for the All Blacks, has become the biggest signing in the club's history after agreeing a three-year deal that will keep him at Sixways until the end of the 2009/2010 season.
Gear is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and clinical wingers on the planet in both domestic and international rugby with the ability to both create and score tries. His talents were underlined last season when he finished the 2006 Rebel Sport Super 14 campaign as Canterbury Crusaders' top try scorer.
The explosive and exciting 29-year-old has previously enjoyed spells with Poverty Bay, Auckland, Bay of Plenty and North Harbour, and played Super 12 rugby for the Auckland Blues and Highlanders.
Electric wing Gear has also excelled on the international stage since making his All Blacks debut in July 2004 against the Pacific Islanders, where he scored a try. He won a Commonwealth Games gold medal when he was part of the New Zealand Sevens side and also has World Cup Sevens medals. Gear also played in numerous matches against the British and Irish Lions in their 2005 tour of New Zealand and scored his first All Blacks hat-trick against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in 2005.
Gear follows fellow All Blacks Sam Tuitupou and Greg Rawlinson, Fiji international Netani Talei, Samoa star Loki Crichton and front row giant Shaun Ruwers as the new arrivals at Sixways.
And the wing wonder admitted he was looking forward to his new challenge and to be joining a club with ambitions that matched his own.
"This is a new chapter in my life and I'm really looking forward to moving to the UK and playing for Worcester Warriors," said Gear.
"The Warriors have shown their burning desire to move forward in recent months by signing a number of world class players, including Sam (Tuitupou) and Greg (Rawlinson) who I both know well from Super 14 rugby and the All Blacks. I'm looking forward to coming over with them and making a real impact at Sixways.
"I believe all the ingredients are now at the club so that I can be part of a successful Warriors side that will challenge for honours in the English game in the future.
"I feel I am enjoying some of the best form of my life and know the style of rugby that Mike Ruddock wants the Warriors to play will suit my approach to the game. I'm determined to add a real dynamic and cutting edge to the team next season."
Worcester Warriors await the draw for the 2007/08 European Challenge Cup to find out who they will face in the Pool stages of the European tournament.