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Ex-Ireland U20 captain Annett gets first Premiership start since 2016

The former Ulster hooker has suffered greatly with injuries in the last year and a half.

EX-IRELAND U20 captain Niall Annett will make his first Premiership appearance since November 2016 after being named to start for Worcester in tomorrow’s clash with Wasps at Sixways Stadium [KO 3pm].

Johann Muller celebrates with fans Annett during his final season with Ulster in 2014. Source: Presseye/Darren Kidd/INPHO

27-year-old hooker Annett has endured a miserable 18 months with injuries, suffering with ankle, hamstring and ACL issues.

Despite his injury travails, Worcester kept faith in the former hooker and extended his contract in January of this year, tieing him down for the 2018/19 campaign.

Annett will now look to make up for lost time as the Warriors – for whom Neil Doak is now attack coach – get their Premiership season underway against Wasps.

The hooker is joined in the Worcester front row by Emerging Ireland-capped loosehead prop Callum Black, a summer signing from Ulster.

Annett captained the Ireland U20s at the World Rugby Championship in 2011 – his second year at that level – playing alongside Tadhg Furlong, Andrew Conway, Kieran Marmion, Paddy Jackson, Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy, JJ Hanrahan and Craig Gilroy in a talented team.

The hooker went on to make 20 appearances for Ulster at senior level before opting for a move to Worcester in 2014 as he searched for increased game time, having found himself behind Rory Best and Rob Herring in the pecking order at his province.

Exeter Chiefs v Worcester Warriors - Aviva Premiership - Sandy Park Annett makes a tackle for Worcester in 2016. Source: Andrew Matthews

Annett established himself as Worcester’s first-choice hooker over the course of the following two seasons, helping Warriors to promotion into the Premiership in his first campaign, before his crippling run of bad luck with injuries.

Having returned to fitness and made a comeback on the pitch in last weekend’s pre-season friendly win over Birmingham Moseley, Annett will now be keen to show his quality once again in the Premiership.  

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Murray Kinsella

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