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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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Premiership Rugby cancel Worcester games

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Premiership Rugby have moved to cancel a further two Worcester Warriors fixtures today as the crisis at the club continues.

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The club were suspended from all rugby last week by the RFU and now Premiership Rugby have now clarified that at least another two games will now not go ahead.

Worcester’s debts total more than £25million, including at least £6m in unpaid tax, while owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have been accused of failing the club.

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“Premiership Rugby can confirm that Worcester Warriors’ Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches against Gloucester Rugby and Harlequins have been cancelled. This follows the RFU’s decision to suspend Worcester Warriors from all competitions,” a statement reads.

“The RFU confirmed last Monday that the owners of Worcester Warriors failed to meet the RFU’s deadline to evidence insurance cover, availability of funds to meet the monthly payroll, and a credible plan to take the club forward. The RFU, therefore, suspended Worcester Warriors from all competitions, including Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Allianz Premier 15s, and Allianz Cup with immediate effect.

“A panel will be convened in due course to decide the result – and points allocation – of these two matches.”

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Last night it was confirmed that four Worcester Warriors players would transfer to Bath for the time being.

Skipper Ted Hill, England centre Ollie Lawrence, lock Fergus Lee-Warner and Valeriy Morozov are heading to the Rec for the next four weeks at least.

Worcester’s Premiership rivals and neighbours Gloucester, meanwhile, have offered Warriors season ticket holders a 50 per cent discount on tickets to watch the Cherry and Whites’ Premiership and Premiership Cup home games.

Gloucester were due to host Worcester on Saturday before Warriors were suspended. They will now hold an opening training session at Kingsholm instead.

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In a message to Worcester fans published on the Gloucester website, club chief executive Lance Bradley said: “On behalf of everyone at Gloucester Rugby, I want to say how sorry we all are to hear about the problems your club is going through.

“While we can’t help with you being able to watch Worcester Warriors at the moment, we can help with you being able to watch alternative top-flight rugby games.

“So, while your team are unable to play, we would like to offer Worcester Warriors season ticket holders the chance to purchase tickets at a 50 per cent discount.

“We don’t expect you to suddenly switch your allegiance to Gloucester Rugby and you are welcome to wear your Worcester shirts.

“Our clubs are rivals on the pitch, but not off it. When we see our neighbours going through a tough time it just feels like the right thing to welcome you to our ‘Holm.”

additional reporting PA

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