“THICK-SKINNED” centre Ben Te’o said he was “never bothered” by the criticism he faced during his time at Worcester Warriors.

But the England star insisted he tried his best whenever he was passed fit to play for the Gallagher Premiership club.

The 32-year-old joined Worcester from Leinster in 2016 on a deal reportedly worth in excess of £350,000 a year.

However, his lack of availability due to injuries and international duty irked many Warriors supporters.

When reflecting on his three-year spell at Sixways Te’o admitted he would have “loved” to have made more appearances for the club.

“It’s been an interesting journey,” Te’o told The Telegraph.

“It’s not a secret that the club has been through a lot of change, whether that is from board or owners or coaches – that type of stuff. The personnel kept ticking over and over.

“I would have loved to have played more games, but injuries come around at different times.

“I’d be out injured and then I’d come back and be away on England duty. It was different.

“I can’t change it.

“If I was fit, I’d play. If I was not fit, I wouldn’t play.

“If I got fit and it was the autumn, it was time to go [to England].

“I’d come back and next minute you’re gone because it’s Six Nations. People feel like they haven’t seen you in a few months and they haven’t. That’s the way it works.”

Te’o notably missed the start of last season due to injury yet was selected for England’s autumn series.

The midfield powerhouse was then given time off by boss Alan Solomons before making his long-awaited return to club action at Saracens in late December.

Te’o said he was aware of some of the negative feelings towards him from Worcester fans but refused to let that effect his game.

“I think I’ve always had that,” said Te’o who made 36 outings in his Warriors career.

“It never bothered me because all I can do is what I can do.

“If I’m fit, I’ll try to play my best. If I’m not fit, I’ll rehab the best I can.

“I can’t magically get right or just walk out of England camp and go to play for Worcester. There are ways to go about it.

“I’m pretty thick-skinned. I know what’s being said on the outside but it doesn’t bother me.”

Te’o who won 18 caps for England since his arrival at Warriors pointed out that his big wage-packet was counterbalanced by around £300,000 in credits returned to the club.

“There are agreements between the RFU and PRL,” Te’o said.

“There is compensation there, which is what it’s all for.

“The fan doesn’t know that sometimes. They just think: ‘Where’s he gone? We’re getting nothing from him.’ That’s the way it works.”

New Zealand-born Te’o was selected for the British and Irish Lions tour in 2017 and is set to be part of England’s 31-man squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. “If I retire tomorrow, I’ll be happy and grateful,” Te’o said.

“We can sometimes think about what didn’t go right, whether you bombed out of a tournament or you lost a final.

“I’ve had things like that, but overall it’s been a great ride. I hope it goes on a bit longer but I’m pretty content.”

Te’o has yet to secure a club for next season but looks unlikely to make a decision on his future until after the World Cup.

“Now I’m here, there’s just one focus – going to Japan, getting on that plane,” Te’o added.

“Out there, it’ll be about the tournament.

“Once that’s done, I can be like: ‘OK, where am I at now? Where’s my head, where’s my hunger? What’s going to make me happy for the next few years?’ “I don’t even know yet.”