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Premiership

Launchbury to Sale?

Is the Wasps exodus set to continue?

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Written by Photo by Eshlin Vedan
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Strong rumours had been circulating that Joe Launchbury appeared to be nearing a switch from Wasps to Sale. The lock was reportedly unhappy following the departures of Nathan Hughes and Willie Le Roux. Hughes has joined Bristol Bears while the South African Le Roux is set to leave the club at the end of the season.

The future of Elliot Daily is also currently the subject of speculation. Launchbury currently earns in the region of £270,000 per year. RugbyPass have suggested that Sale were willing to almost double the player’s wages and offer him a contract worth £500,000 per annum.

Wasps and Lauchbury however issued a strong statement via the club website and Twitter.

“Wasps are aware of recent rumours linking Club Captain Joe Launchbury with a move away from the Club.”

“These rumours are completely unfounded, and Wasps can confirm Launchbury will be at the Club next season.”

Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “Joe is Club Captain and has been a key part of Wasps for a long time. He is an asset to the squad.

“Joe is clearly a quality player who most clubs would want in their ranks, but he is contracted to Wasps and committed to the Club and the journey we are on.

Launchbury was quoted saying

“Wasps are obviously a Club that have been great to me over the years and are extremely close to my heart. I’m fully committed to the Club and going nowhere.”

Launchbury is a product of Wasps academy and has since made 135 appearances for them. He has been captaining the side since 2016 and also boasts 54 England caps.

This clear statement of denial from Wasps perhaps strengthens the rumours surrounding Elliot Daly move to Saracens. These rumours have been around for much longer , gather a lot of momentum and Wasps have remained silent.

In brighter news for Wasps, scrum half Ben Vellacott is set to leave Gloucester and join them at the end of the season. The 23-year-old who is a potential candidate to England’s 2019 Rugby World Cup squad as agreed to a move as reported by Gloucestershire Live.

This will be déjà vu for Gloucester fans. They also saw exciting scrum-half Dan Robson leave them in order to join Wasps four years ago.

At the time, Robson left in order to get more regular game-time. Vellacott is presently in a similar situation with club captain Willi Heinz ahead in the pecking order.

Velacott has so far managed 12 tries from 45 appearances in Cherry and Whites colours. However, he has been mainly used as an impact player and not started as many games as he would have liked to.


Premiership

Gloucester Rugby v Worcester Warriors will not go ahead as planned

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Gloucester Rugby

Following confirmation from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) that Worcester Warriors have been suspended from all competitions, including the Gallagher Premiership, Gloucester Rugby’s Round 3 fixture versus the Warriors – scheduled for Saturday 1 October – will not go ahead as had been planned.

The Club awaits further information as to whether the fixture is cancelled or postponed and will update supporters as soon as possible thereafter.

Our thoughts go to Worcester Warriors players, staff and supporters following the news of their suspension from the league. We hope to see them return to the Premiership again soon. 

Open training this weekend

In absence of a fixture this weekend, Gloucester Rugby is opening the gates for supporters – regardless of whether they have a ticket to the Worcester fixture – to come and watch the first team train, followed by a signing session. 

Attendance is free although supporters will need a ticket for entry – simply click here to get yours.

Gates will open at 12pm with the training session running from 12.30-2pm. Following the conclusion of open training, a signing session will take place pitch-side, while Saracens v Leicester Tigers, live on BT Sport from 3pm, will also be available on the screens in the Stowford Press Clubhouse.

Next up at Holm

Bristol Bears will visit Kingsholm on Saturday 15 October and it promises to be a game not to miss! Tickets are available now from just £25 for adults and £15 for children. Click here to purchase.

For any enquiries please email [email protected]

Content & Images from – Gloucester Rugby


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Premiership

Club Statement

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Worcester Warriors submit request for DCMS to appoint administrators

Worcester Warriors can confirm that WRFC Trading Limited, the company that owns the Worcester Warriors Premiership rugby club, has today asked DCMS to place the club into administration.

DCMS will now apply to the court to appoint administrators.

As negotiations with possible investors have still not led to critically-needed funding, administration is seen as the best solution to safeguard the interests of the business and ensure the best chances of a solution that saves the club.

It is hoped that this course of action will help to bring forward interested purchasers who may be able to preserve the club.

Once appointed, administrators will communicate with staff, supporters, partners, sponsors and creditors about timescales and processes to seek a purchaser.

Warriors owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham said: “We are grateful to DCMS and Sport England as the Covid19 loan Programme Manager for accepting our request to place the club into administration.

“Both the club and DCMS will continue to co-ordinate efforts to find a rescue for the club if there is any possibility of it being saved.

“The administrators will assess any rescue options for some or all of the business as and when offers are made, while ensuring public funds are protected.”

Images & Content from Worcester Warriors


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Premiership

RFU issue statement on Worcester future

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RFU Statement: Worcester Warriors

The owners of Worcester Warriors have not met the RFU’s 5pm deadline to evidence insurance cover, availability of funds to meet the monthly payroll, and a credible plan to take the club forward. 

The RFU has therefore suspended Worcester Warriors from all competitions, including the Gallagher Premiership, Allianz Premier 15s, U18s Academy Cup and Allianz Cup with immediate effect.

Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO said;

“We appreciate this is incredibly difficult news for fans, staff and players.  We would like to thank the staff and players who have worked tirelessly over recent weeks to enable matches to continue.

“We met with players and staff last week to explain why this action would be necessary and regrettably without assurances in place we have had to take this action to protect everyone’s best interests. 

“We hope a buyer can be secured to allow Worcester Warriors and The University of Worcester Warriors to return to professional league rugby.  While it is the responsibility of each business owner to manage their individual finances, we will look at learnings from this situation to see what regulation can be put in place to provide all parties with more financial transparency.  Rugby is a relatively young professional sport and it has been widely recognised that clubs have been facing financial challenges even before Covid. 

“Successful professional leagues are vital for the wellbeing of the whole game.  They inspire current and future players, delight fans by showcasing high skill levels and the exciting nature of our game. This is why it is so important that we continue to work with Premiership Rugby to improve the structure, governance and business model of rugby union in England.

“The RFU will continue to support community rugby in Worcester and is fully committed to ensuring local academy opportunities are provided for pathway players.”

The RFU will work with Premiership Rugby and DCMS to establish next steps for the club and what this will mean for the Gallagher Premiership, the men’s Academy and Allianz Premier 15s competitions.


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