THERE are fresh concerns that Worcester Warriors may have to go another year and a half without rugby if an RFU deadline is not met next week.

On Monday it was confirmed that both Warriors and Wasps would start the 2023/24 campaign in the Championship should they be able to reform following going into administration.

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But the RFU have confirmed via an email that club's wishing to compete in England's second-tier have to submit their applications by Monday December 12 if they want to be included in next season's competition.

That gives the preferred bidders - Jim O'Toole and James Sandford's American consortium - five days in which to push through their purchase of the club and apply.

The exclusivity period for O'Toole and Sandford was extended by the administrators, Begbies Traynor, last week for a further two weeks on the November 30 deadline but there were suggestions on Monday that there could be another extension next week.

But any further delay would take them past the December 12 deadline and if they miss that, it sounds as if Warriors would not be able to compete in the league next season and would have to wait until the 2024/25 campaign to play rugby again.

As it stands, the club is still in administration and there are no staff or players within the men's side of the club.

O'Toole and Sandford remain under an non-disclosure agreement and are unable to comment but Begbies Traynor did suggest the RFU have said they would be flexible with deadlines "should the deal be proceeding".