Wasps are REMOVED from next season’s Championship by the RFU after little progress was made on paying creditors… meaning they will have to start the year from the BOTTOM of the rugby pyramid
- The move effectively signals the death of one of the county’s proudest clubs
- Wasps had been suspended from the Premiership after entering administration
- RFU chief Bill Sweeney said it ‘is not the outcome anyone in rugby wanted’
Wasps have had their licence to play in English rugby’s league structure withdrawn by the RFU, effectively signalling the death of one of the country’s proudest and most successful clubs.
The Coventry-based side were suspended from the Premiership earlier this season after entering administration but had hoped to return in the Championship for the 2023-24 campaign.
On Thursday, it was confirmed that would not happen and the club would move to the bottom of the English rugby pyramid.
RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said: ‘This is not the outcome anyone in rugby wanted and all those involved with the club will be deeply disappointed.
‘We have worked with the new owners for the past six months to try to ensure a robust plan could be put in place for the club to continue to play in the Championship while players and staff could receive monies owed to them.
Wasps’ licence to play in the Championship next season has been revoked
‘The RFU is working closely with Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players Association to ensure players are supported. We are also working together at pace to ensure the game emerges from this challenging time on a strong and sound financial footing.’
Wasps have won five Premiership titles and three European trophies in the professional era and their official demise marks yet another sad moment in one of the worst seasons in English rugby history.
Worcester were the first Premiership club to enter administration before Wasps followed suit. There remains a very real concern London Irish will be the third team to go this term. Irish have been given an RFU deadline of May 30 to complete a takeover or prove they have the funds to complete next season. If they don’t, they will also be suspended from the Premiership.
Elsewhere, England flanker Tom Curry has called for greater protection for players at the breakdown after his Sale team-mate and twin brother Ben suffered a serious hamstring injury.
Ben Curry will miss the Shark’s Premiership final with Saracens a week on Saturday and is now unlikely to make the World Cup later this year. He was the victim of a nasty contact area injury in his team’s semi-final win over Leicester.
Ben Curry got over the ball to win a penalty for his team but was ‘crocodile rolled’ by Tigers prop Tom West while his leg got stuck in the ground. He will need surgery to fix his hamstring and will be out for at least four months.
‘I think if there was something to prevent that, it would be nice,’ Tom Curry said of his brother’s injury.
A crocodile roll involves a player grabbing an opponent around the torso and using their body weight to roll them to one side. England’s Jack Willis suffered a horror knee injury in 2020 when he was on the wrong end of a crocodile roll against Italy.
Tom Curry believes rugby should have a serious conversation about banning the move and ensuring better safety for those at the breakdown.
‘I think at the end of the day you’ve got to see that. I think we’ve got to a point now,’ he said. ‘This doesn’t have to be a big thing. It’s just a conversation. But we’re seeing injuries at the breakdown from that and you’ve got to start listening to what’s happening.’
Ben Curry has had a fine season and captained Sale in their Premiership semi-final. His sibling believes the heartbreaking injury blow will give the Sharks an extra edge against Saracens.
‘It has to. It’s tough because if there’s someone who deserves to play in a final, I think it’s him,’ Tom Curry said. ‘It’s going to give us an edge. It’s tough, really tough.’
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