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The All Blacks simply didn't adjust to the changes that were happening on the field.

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Gloucester's Worcester message after second call-off in six months

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Gloucester have sent Worcester a message after the second Gallagher Premiership game between the clubs at Kingsholm in the last six months was cancelled on Monday. The call-off last March caused an uproar between the clubs, the Warriors pulling out just seven hours before the planned Friday night live TV kick-off after it emerged they couldn’t sufficiently resource their front row.

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That dispute between the neighbouring top-flight clubs needed to be ironed out by a Sports Resolutions investigation and the cancelled March 25 match eventually resulted in the April 21 decision to award a match result of 20-0 and five league points to Gloucester as a consequence of Worcester cancelling the fixture. 

This initial verdict was accompanied at the time by the promise to publish the full written judgement and that happened 19 days later, Premiership Rugby offering up a riveting 26-page document that explained how the situation over tighthead unavailability unfolded at Worcester and led to the match cancellation. 

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The outcome resulted in a stern statement from Gloucester. “We are pleased the independent panel rejected Worcester’s claims that the cancellation was due to Covid-19 and that they did everything they could to field a team. As is evident in the report, clearly neither of these things was the case. The club will now seek compensation from Worcester Warriors through the relevant channels.”

This acrimony between the clubs hasn’t been repeated with the latest fixture cancellation, however. It was Monday at 5pm when the RFU officially suspended Worcester from participation in the Premiership due to a lack of financial guarantees and it meant scratching this Saturday’s scheduled match at Gloucester.  

Rather than react angrily, though, the Gloucester reaction was far more conciliatory compared to earlier this year. A statement read: “Following confirmation from the Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) that Worcester have been suspended from all competitions, including the Gallagher Premiership, Gloucester’s fixture versus the Warriors on Saturday, October 1, will not go ahead as had been planned.

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“The club awaits further information as to whether the fixture is cancelled or postponed and will update supporters as soon as possible thereafter. Our thoughts go to Worcester Warriors players, staff and supporters following the news of their suspension from the league. We hope to see them return to the Premiership again soon. 

“In absence of a fixture this weekend, Gloucester are opening the gates for supporters – regardless of whether they have a ticket to the Worcester fixture – to come and watch the first team train, followed by a signing session.

“Attendance is free although supporters will need a ticket for entry – simply click here to get yours. Gates will open at 12pm with the training session running from 12.30-2pm. Following the conclusion of open training, a signing session will take place pitch-side, while Saracens vs Leicester Tigers, live on BT Sport from 3pm, will also be available on the screens in the Stowford Press Clubhouse.”

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