Former Springbok full back, Thinus Delport, is to rejoin Worcester Warriors to help drive player recruitment.
Head Coach Richard Hill has spelt out his vision to develop and reinforce the recruitment strategy at Sixways as Warriors prepare for a return to both the Amlin Challenge Cup and the Aviva Premiership this season, and Delport has already started work as a Recruitment Consultant with the club.
Delport, who made 110 appearances for Worcester between 2004 and 2008, is a hugely respected figure in the global game after a glittering playing career. He made 18 appearances for South Africa and impressed in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres where he featured for the Lions in Super 15, Gloucester and Warriors, and also Kobelco Steelers in Japan.
The 36-year-old's knowledge and understanding of the game has also been recognised in recent years with his media commitments and Hill believes Delport is the right man to help him develop the squad at Sixways in advance of a demanding season which sees Worcester feature in Pool 1 of the Amlin Challenge Cup along with Stade Francais, Crociati Parma and Bucharest Wolves.
"It's about getting the right group of players together and recruitment is a very serious priority now we are back in the top-flight," said Hill. "We have a highly motivated squad and very talented players who are developing well. The likes of Miles Benjamin, Marcel Garvey, Jonny Arr and Oliver Tomaszczyk are outstanding players who have had good seasons and have bright futures.
"It is crucial that on top of that you can pick out two or three high quality players that will keep moving the squad forward to achieve our ultimate ambitions. One of the key factors to recruiting a player is doing thorough research. We needed somebody who was highly respected, is extremely knowledgeable about players and is a fitting ambassador for the club. Thinus is that person and he will be there to watch those players that are identified, to talk to the right people about them and ultimately meet the player to ensure it is the kind of person we want at the Warriors."
Delport admitted it was fantastic to be involved with a club so close to his heart once again and vowed to leave no stone unturned in a bid to bring the best players to Warriors in the coming years.
He said: "It's great to be part of the ambition of Worcester Warriors. I want to help reach the vision that the club has set out, both that of Cecil Duckworth and Richard Hill and Phil Davies, in terms of the rugby goals. This new recruitment process will help us identify potential players that will only add to the club."