Following employment tribunal proceedings former Worcester Warriors players and non-playing staff have been rewarded with protective award compensation.

The proceedings, which were led by the Rugby Players' Association (RPA) on behalf of 167 players and non-playing staff from Worcester, Wasps and London Irish, who were all made redundant without notice when their clubs demised in the 2022/23 season.

Warriors were expelled from the Premiership in October 2022 after going into administration as a result of a tax dispute with HM Revenue and Customs.


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Despite new owners, Atlas Group, led by former Worcester chief executive Jim O'Toole, completing the purchase of the club in May 2023, the club's playing future has remained uncertain.

The RPA lent assistance most notably by supporting players in their most vulnerable circumstances, and leading the proceedings by pursuing protective award compensation in relation to the players redundancies over the past four months.

The judgements were issued in the favour of the players, who received the highest possible protective award due to the clubs' failure to give their employees notice prior to making the redundancies.

Worcester News:

RPA’s player welfare director, Rich Bryan, said: "The RPA team has left no stone unturned in providing its support to its members... We have provided legal advice at every turn, mental health support, one to one Player Development Manager support and career transition support.

"Pursuing the protective award claims on behalf of our members was just another example of the RPA demonstrating how essential our service is".

Former Worcester second row, Graham Kitchener, said: "Following sudden redundancy at Worcester Warriors, the RPA took action, tirelessly fighting for our best interests as players.

"The outcome of these Protective Award claims...will serve as a crucial financial safety net, providing stability for players and their families".

Former Worcester prop, Murray McCallum, echoed the sentiment, saying: "I can’t appreciate the efforts from the RPA enough, for continuously fighting for the players long after sudden redundancy at Worcester Warriors.

"Rich Bryan and the team securing the protective award claims for us players is greatly appreciated by everyone and provides a crucial financial safety net, as well as some stability."