Club legend to leave Worcester
TRANSFER NEWS: Worcester Warriors’ long-serving scrumhalf Jonny Arr is to leave the club at the end of the season.
It will end a 23-year association with rugby in Worcester for Arr who first played in the club’s mini and junior section and was a keen supporter of the side in the late 1990s.
He graduated to the professional ranks in 2007 and has made 217 senior appearances in a glittering career.
“The immediate emotion is one of sadness that it is all going to come to an end. I have spent a huge portion of my life here. I have been playing rugby with a Worcester badge on my shirt since I was seven years of age,” Arr said.
“It has been a huge part of my life and that chapter is going to come to an end. So on one side there will be a feeling of sadness but on the other side it’s one of excitement because I have got the opportunity now to have a new challenge which I think is going to be really good for me. It’s a chance to almost start again.
“I have got no thoughts of hanging up the boots yet. I am only 30, I would like to think that I can still offer a huge amount to a team out there. I will spend the short-term finding what opportunities are out there and which ones are a best-fit.
“I am keen to keep playing rugby. I feel like I have put a few tough years injury-wise behind me and I am eager to continue my rugby journey.
“Whilst it would have been nice to have hung my boots up here and called it a day after seeing my career out with Warriors, it’s not to be.”
Arr, a former Royal Grammar School student, made his senior debut in 2007 and only Chris Pennell of the current Warriors squad has been a professional with the club for longer.
“I have got so many good memories here. Looking all the way back to my first season I over-achieved in the way I never thought I would,” Arr said.
“I had only just put my pen down from doing my A-Level exams, I went on holiday with my mates, I came back and I was thrown straight in training with the first team.
“I would never have expected that. I was lucky to play a number of games in that first season which was massive in my development because it was almost a sink-or-swim moment. But I managed to make an impression and that set me up for the next few years.
“While it was difficult being relegated that first time I played a number of games in that Championship year and my rugby really developed massively in that year which culminated in promotion and winning Player of the Year.
“I will always remember the milestones, hitting 100, 150 and then 200 games for the club and most recently I suppose the Testimonial.
“It was a huge honour to be awarded one and that brought so many great memories from across the different events we did. Two that stand out are the Testimonial Day against Gloucester when, having battled with concussion for most of that season, to come back and be part of a winning side that day was great. To score a try was the icing on the cake.
“Bringing the Testimonial to a close in Worcester Cathedral was so special. To bring the curtain down in what is not just the most iconic building in Worcester but one of the most iconic buildings in the country.
“Aside from those individual moments I have made a lot of good friends, many of them will be friends for life, and I have met a lot of good people. I will look back on an awful lot of good times.
“I will take great pride in having remained loyal to the club and Chris Pennell has done the same. I hope that there are guys that follow suit in the future because I think it’s really important that this place has as many homegrown players as possible.”
Warriors Director of Rugby Alan Solomons paid tribute to the departing Arr, who made his most recent first team start in the Premiership Rugby Cup semi-final against Saracens.
“Jonny has been a tremendous servant of the club,” Solomons said.
“He is a good bloke and a great team man who has made an invaluable contribution to Warriors over many years. We wish him all the very best for the future.”
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