THE RFU have released a statement to confirm that Worcester Warriors will not compete in the Championship next season. 

The new owners at Sixways Jim O'Toole and James Sandford (Atlas Worcester Warriors RFC Ltd) confirmed earlier this week that they had a "positive meeting" with the RFU regarding Warriors returning to action in the Championship next season. 

But on Wednesday, February 15, the governing body confirmed an agreement has not been reached in time. 

The statement from the RFU read: "On Thursday 9 February, Atlas released a statement saying that they had withdrawn its application for Worcester Warriors men’s team to play in the Championship. 

"The RFU and DCMS met with Atlas on Monday 13 February to see if there could be a different resolution to the situation. The Atlas position did not change, and therefore Worcester Warriors will not participate in the Championship in the 2023-24 season." 

Whilst it is bad news for Worcester supporters, it is better news for Wasps, as they have been confirmed as a Championship club for the 2023/24 campaign. 

A Wasps spokesperson said: "We remain in positive dialogue with the RFU and thank them for their continued support as we work to secure our future.

"Recent events have highlighted, more than ever, the importance of long-term sustainable investment.

"Our focus remains on stabilising the club financially and Wasps playing in the Championship next season."

Attention now turns to where Wasps will play their home games, with rumours suggesting Sixways is on the list of venues.

But what next for Worcester Warriors?

On Thursday, February 9, Atlas revealed their plans for a shake-up at Sixways, which involved bringing semi-professional side Stourbridge RFC to the stadium under the new team name of 'Sixways Rugby'. 

But that is still something that has to be given the all-clear by the RFU and that was also mentioned in their statement. 

"The Atlas decision to withdraw their Championship application leaves the RFU with no regulatory means to enforce the payment of rugby creditors and this responsibility for managing the liabilities of the insolvent club now lies with the administrator of WRFC Trading Limited, and the liquidator of WRFC Players Limited. 

"The RFU awaits the detailed proposals from Atlas on how it proposes to maintain rugby at Sixways, and will continue to work with DCMS, local MPs, Atlas and the local rugby community to help find the best rugby outcome."

Atlas’ directors O’Toole and Sandford have invited a selection of supporters to a presentation event at Sixways on Saturday to discuss their plans but also to hear the concerns of the fan-base.

But now with Championship rugby not on the table, many of those in attendance on Saturday will want to know what is going to happen to Worcester Warriors.