The Rugby Players Association (RPA) have issued a statement in the wake of news that supporters could be banned from attending rugby matches for up to six months.

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The RPA say that the move could cause ‘irrevocable damage to clubs’ and that the game must be given a financial support package from the UK government.

The RPA statement reads: “Following the Government announcement last week that supporters will not be allowed into stadiums for up to 6 months and the subsequent message from the Premiership Rugby Club Chairmen seeking urgent support, The Rugby Players Association are advocating the vital importance of a Government backed rescue package in order to save the game in England.

“Premiership Rugby Clubs have already suffered significant financial losses from the suspension of the season following the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequently playing matches behind closed doors. To continue along this path will cause irrevocable damage to clubs across the Premiership that will impact the wider game and communities they serve in England. In the absence of the revenues that live crowds bring to the sport, it is imperative that that game gets significant financial support to help it through this challenging time.

“We have spoken to a number of very concerned players who recognise the devastating impact this latest news will have on their employers and the broader game. Professional rugby provides important physical and mental positivity across a wide range of community and grassroots sport and the removal of this will have enormous implications for clubs and fans of all age ranges.

“We are calling on the players and fans to show their support in keeping the sport of rugby alive – this sport has outstanding values and we all need to align our interests to ensure its pending survival.”

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Over the weekend the owners of Worcester Warriors met with the UK Sports Minister to discuss how they could manage the challenge posed by COVID and potentially open to fans.

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