England and Worcester centre Ben Te’o has been given a further two weeks off after his club teammates returned to training.
While the Worcester players have started training in earnest, Te'o has been given an extended holiday so that he is hungry and fresh for the upcoming season.
Worcester Director of Rugby Gary Gold believes the British and Irish Lions tour would have taken a lot out of Te'o and for this reason has given his ace more time to recover before thrusting him into a gruelling pre-season.
“We are going to give him another two weeks off,” Gold told Worcester News.
“I don’t think fitness is going to be too much of an issue with Ben, but I can only imagine what that tour must have taken out of him. It must have been mentally draining.
“He is away with his family at the moment and he gets back to the UK this week, but then he has got another week off as I think he is going to Europe for a holiday.
“For us, it is really important that he does get away and has a break because we want him to come back hungry.
“But he will definitely be back for the start of the season.”
Te’o played 308 minutes during the Lions tour, gaining 226 metres, making 48 carries, beating 14 defenders and completing 27 tackles. He started the first Test before Jonny Sexton was brought in at fly-half with Owen Farrell taking up his position at inside centre.
However, Te'o returned as a substitute in the third Test which the sides drew 15-15 as the series ended all square at 1-1.
And Gold has heaped praise on Te'o for his performances in the Lions series.
“I thought he was outstanding for the Lions,” Gold said.
“Quite a few guys who have worked with him in the past say he is a big-match player and you could definitely see that.
“You saw that for us as well.
“When there were big games and they mattered a lot to the club, like against Bath and against Bristol, he really stepped up to the plate.
“He was very good against Newcastle away from home as well.
“He is a class act and I am very happy for him that he has been recognised at the level he has been playing at.”