Worcester Warriors owners withdraw proposal to play in Championship next season

Worcester Warriors are set to change their name to "Sixways Rugby" - and have withdrawn their proposal to play in the Championship next season.

The club had been given until 14 February to meet Rugby Football Union criteria to play in the second tier.

The owners, Atlas, say the new club will instead partner with fourth-tier side Stourbridge, who ex-Warriors chief executive Jim O'Toole says will play at Sixways for the rest of the season.

This news is the latest heartbreak for fans as the club was on the brink of administration in August 2022 and a winding up petition had been issued to the club by HMRC over an unpaid tax bill of £6 million.

The Warriors had racked up more than £25million of debt, and players and staff at the club had not received their full wages, with the lack of funds leading to major operational shortcomings. 

Towards the end of August, non-playing staff were told they would only receive a 'portion' of their monthly salary. 

They were paid just 65%.

Warriors fans were then given a glimmer of hope as the club announced it had "agreed the terms of the sale of the club" to an undisclosed buyer on 13 September.

But less than two weeks later, on Monday 26 September 2022, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) announced it had placed the club into administration and the Warriors were suspended from all competitions with immediate effect.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know