Samoan Ezra Taylor (R) heads to Worcester

Worcester Warriors have bolstered the club’s back row resources with the capture of highly rated Samoan international Ezra Taylor.

Taylor, who has featured for both the Highlanders and Queensland Reds in the Super 15, is expected to jet into Sixways in the coming weeks. The 28-year-old, who stands 6ft 4in tall and weighs 17st 7lbs, has also had a spell playing for Connacht in the Magners League.

Head Coach Richard Hill revealed he had targeted Taylor as a potential recruit for next season but had moved quickly for the Brisbane-born back row, who can also operate in the second row, following injuries to Kai Horstmann, Adam Balding, Neil Best and Matt Kvesic.

“We are delighted to announce the signing of Ezra Taylor and believe he will be a major capture for the Warriors,” said Hill. “We wanted a powerful player to add to our back row as we have come across, and continue to face, some big players this season, with the likes of Thomas Waldrom at Leicester Tigers and Francois Louw at Bath.

“We originally looked at Ezra over the summer with a view to recruiting him in the future. Phil Davies and I both really liked the look of him at the Pacific Nations Cup for Samoa.

“He has a strong rugby CV, having featured for the Reds, Highlanders and Connacht, and will add a real level of physicality to the squad. Ezra will join us in the coming weeks and there is a good chance he could be involved against Leicester Tigers.”

Born in Australia but raised in New Zealand, Taylor represented New Zealand at Under-19 and school boy levels. He made his debut for Otago in the 2006 Air New Zealand Cup and earned a contract with the Highlanders for the 2007 Super 14 season.

Taylor signed with the Queensland Reds – where he is currently training – for the 2009 Super 14 season. He appeared in 14 matches over two seasons for the Reds. The back row signed with Connacht for 2010/11 and made his Samoa debut earlier this year against Japan.

“I’m really looking forward to the move and joining the Warriors,” said Taylor. “The club is moving forward in a good direction and I want to fit in and be part of that emphasis.

“The set up sounds awesome and the support structure sounds top class, headed of course by a great coaching staff. I am extremely excited about working with and becoming part of the Warriors family.”