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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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Ted Hill posts emotional 'unbelievably sad day' Worcester message

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

England international Ted Hill has tweeted his thanks to Worcester on what he described as an unbelievably sad day for the suspended Gallagher Premiership club. The Warriors came before an Insolvency and Companies Court hearing on Wednesday where it was decided by Judge Nicholas Briggs to make an order winding up WRFC Players Ltd. 

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is pursuing the Warriors for unpaid tax in the region of £6million and while Worcester were in administration, the company holding player and some staff contracts – WRFC Players Ltd, a subsidiary of WRFC Trading Ltd – had been operational and was the subject of HMRC’s action.

Because they had not been paid for September, all players were able to leave on October 14 but the midweek liquidation at the Insolvency and Companies Court has brought their departure forward by nine days. Club captain Hill, Ollie Lawrence, Fergus Lee-Warner and Valeriy Morozov had already joined Bath on loan on Monday, and others will now follow them out of the door having become unemployed along with members of staff.

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News that the winding up order had been approved quickly resulted in Hill taking to social media to post a Twitter thread where he looked back over his time at Worcester and called on Premiership Rugby to never allow this type of financial mess to happen again.

“What an unbelievably sad day for everyone in Worcester,” began Hill. “A club that meant so much to everyone has gone the direction none of us wanted it to. A place where I played my rugby from 14 years of age and met so many people who mean so much to me and my family. There have been so many people to thank throughout my whole journey starting off with Chim Gale and Nick Tisdale who were my first coaches at Worcester and helped me not only to become the player I am but also the person I am. 

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“Also, Alan Solomons who gave me my first Premiership start and later went on to give me the amazing opportunity of captaining my home town club. To all those guys I am massively appreciative. Then to the current staff who have helped guide this group of players through such a difficult time and have done it with such poise and elegance throughout all the highs and lows. 

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“To my teammates, thank you for all the memories we have made together they will be times that I will never forget. Then finally to the fans of Worcester, this is obviously not where any of us wanted this to end up, but the way you have supported us and the staff through this whole saga has been unbelievable and we are forever grateful for that. 

“There will be nothing written for the people who put us in this situation but to the governing bodies of rugby, something needs to change so that this doesn’t happen to any club again. Thank you, Worcester for everything.”

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