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RFU statement: Wasps' relegation confirmed

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Getty Images)

Wasps’ relegation from the Gallagher Premiership has been confirmed by the RFU eleven days after they fell into administration with the loss of 167 player and staff jobs at the club. There had been hopes that despite their suspension from the 2022/23 top flight that a takeover could have quickly taken place to allow them to restart their campaign.

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However, the governing body of rugby in England have now stated that Wasps will not play again this season and will instead restart in next season’s 2023/24 Championship, the same level of the game that will herald the return of Worcester, the other top-flight club that financially went to the wall in recent weeks.

A statement read: “Following a meeting of the RFU’s club financial viability group on Friday, the RFU can confirm the suspension of Wasps from Gallagher Premiership Rugby and Premiership Rugby Cup for the remainder of the 2022/23 season.

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“The RFU’s club financial viability group is encouraged by the progress made by the administrators and it has taken the decision to suspend the team in order to support the prospect of securing a deal with the right investor and giving the club the best chance for a long-term sustainable future.

“Any potential investors and management will require due diligence and approvals from the RFU and PRL. A condition of any potential deal will include a requirement for the payment of all rugby creditors.

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“The decision also gives certainty to PRL and Premiership rugby clubs to protect the integrity of Gallagher Premiership Rugby and allow clubs and their teams to plan for the rest of the season.

“Under RFU regulations, Wasps will be relegated from Gallagher Premiership Rugby and therefore, if investors can be secured, the club will restart in the Championship in season 2023/24. The club is able to appeal this decision if it can show there was no fault insolvency.”

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Jon 9 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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