Born and bred in the city of Worcester, Jonny’s introduction to rugby came with Worcester RFC Mini Junior section at the age of 7, alongside Warriors’ favourite, Jake Abbott. His journey with the Mini Junior section would continue for 10 years through to the U17s Colts, where he would sign off with victory in the National U17s Cup. Over this period, Jonny continued to develop his rugby whilst schooled at RGS Worcester, going on to collect over 50 first team appearances.
Jonny’s first taste of Premiership Rugby would come whilst still at school, with the 18 year old being named as a replacement in a Guinness Premiership fixture away at Bristol. Whilst he didn’t take the field, it gave the youngster a taste of life in the professional game.
Upon leaving RGS, Jonny signed his first professional contract with the Warriors. He would form part of an Academy, which, under the guidance of Andrew Stanley and Gary Meechan, would produce a number of Premiership stars including Tom Wood, Miles Benjamin and current Warriors star Chris Pennell. Within months of commencing his first season, Jonny would fulfil his dream and make his first appearance for the Warriors, coming off the bench in an EDF Cup fixture against London Irish at the Madejski Stadium. Ten more appearances would follow, culminating in Jonny’s first Premiership start away at Wasps and a runner up medal in the European Challenge Shield.
Recognised for his impact within the Worcester set up, Jonny was awarded with a call up to the England Under 20 side and appeared twice in their Six Nations Grand Slam winning season in early 2008.
Jonny’s breakthrough for the Warriors was made in the 2009/10 season, where he would make 28 appearances for the first team. This included a memorable first Premiership try against Gloucester away at Kingsholm. He was also part of a first trip to Wembley for the club in a fixture against Saracens. Jonny’s form would be recognised at the club’s end of season awards, where he collected the Warriors’ Young Player of the Year and the Peter Watkins Young Player of the Year awarded by the Warriors Rugby Supporters Club.
After the disappointment of relegation, Jonny would excel as the Warriors won promotion back to the Premiership. Having collected two Young Player of the Year awards the year before, Jonny would go one better by picking up the Player of the Year accolade at the club’s End of Season Awards Dinner, capping off a fine season by the young scrum half.
In the seasons to follow, the milestones would continue to mount, when in September 2012, aged just 23, Jonny collected his 100th Warriors appearance. Before long, Jonny would pass the 150 appearances marker, as well as collecting his second Championship winning medal. This was combined with Jonny representing the Championship XV in their victory against Canada at Sixways.
Away from the field, Jonny has continued to challenge himself on an educational level. In 2014 he graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Leadership and Management from the University of Northumbria. After completing and vowing never to pick up the books again, he finds himself currently working towards a Masters Degree in Building Surveying from the same institution.
Whilst injury has put the brakes on Jonny’s push to 200 Warriors games, he remains the highest appearance maker in the current squad and currently sits 4th in the Warriors all time appearance list. He is also living the nightmare of many a cricketer, finishing his most recent innings stuck on 99 (Aviva Premiership appearances that is).
Since first pulling on a Worcester rugby jersey 20 years ago, Jonny has displayed immense loyalty, dedicating much more than a playing career to a club and a city he truly loves. He is and will always be a Warrior.