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Welsh rugby enveloped in its latest existential crisis

As Wayne Pivac teeters on the edge of finding new gainful employment after a series of disappointing results, the wider-lens story tells of dysfunction and frustration

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'I don't think the other 12 clubs give a s***' about Worcester

By PA
(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Worcester director of rugby Steve Diamond has revealed that a deal could be reached for an investor to buy the financially-stricken club in the next three days. Speaking after the Warriors were swept aside 45-14 by London Irish at the Gtech Community Stadium, Diamond said that co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham are in advanced negotiations with a prospective buyer.

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Worcester face administration because of debts in excess of £25million, including a £6m tax bill, and their players have still not been fully paid for August, with September’s payroll fast approaching. “In the next 72 hours there may be some news of a potential investor,” Diamond said.

“This news is a boost but we don’t want a false dawn. I have been around rugby for a long time and there aren’t too many people who want to put their hands in their pockets and buy rugby businesses. If the owners have found somebody then great and no doubt they will speak to me.”

Worcester may have leaked seven tries in a rusty start to the Gallagher Premiership – their financial problems prevented them from playing any warm-up games – but Diamond was relieved they were able to participate at all.

“We have played our first game and in the trajectory of new Worcester, if we didn’t fulfil our fixture we were out of it,” he said. “We managed to play the fixture and we need to improve. I don’t think the other twelve clubs give a s*** whether we are here or not, so it’s important I get the team to perform.

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“This was a bit more than just a rugby match. The bad news of what happened on Thursday with the Queen, the country is in shock, so you have got to put things in perspective. We are a rugby club that has run out of money and the owners need to find some or sell it and we will continue to be a rugby club.

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“My job under that guise is to get them competitive and at the moment that is difficult with the boat we are in.”

Among Irish’s seven tries was a brilliant finish from 19-year-old sensation Henry Arundell only a minute after stepping off the bench. The England wing, who scored a stunning try in the first Test against Australia in July, hacked the ball on with his first touch before touching down with his second.

“Everything he touches seems to turn to gold a little bit, but it’s not by accident,” Irish head coach Les Kiss said. “We saw that unbelievable situation in the Test match in Australia. He creates moments. He’s got something about him for sure, but there’s a real true humility to him as well.”

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