WORCESTER Warriors chairman Cecil Duckworth has revealed an application to play football at Sixways is in the hands of rugby chiefs.

Premier Rugby, governors of the Guinness Premiership, received the request at the start of the season but are yet to respond.

So the possibility of Worcester City setting up home on the site is still a long way off, even if they sell the St George's Lane stadium to property developers.

City chairman Dave Boddy admitted he would welcome talks with their city sports rivals but said the Nunnery Way site was their favoured option.

Duckworth has dismissed suggestions City could use one of the Sixways pitches outside the main stadium.

"We did consider that at one stage," he said. "But that's not an option any more. I think, if they came here, they would have to be on the main pitch."

A snag holding up any potential ground-share agreement is that both sports' governing bodies insist on primacy of tenure -- meaning their clubs must have priority on scheduling fixtures.

Saracens, Wasps, London Irish, Bristol and Sale all ground-share at present but, in each case, the football club -- rather than the rugby club -- originally occupied the stadium.

For the reverse to happen would be unique and another obstacle for Warriors is the fact they are not founder members of the Premiership.

Sale were in a similar position when they moved to Stockport County's Edgeley Park, suggesting there is room for negotiation with the authorities.

Duckworth says he has had no formal talks with Worcester City representatives but would be interested in a deal if it was "financially viable".

He said: "Firstly, we would want to know whether the football club wanted to come here and secondly if it's a possibility because of primacy of tenure.

"There are certain matches which have to be played on certain days. Neither will give way on that issue at the moment. It is not a possibility at the moment. The Football Association insists on primacy of tenure. Premier Rugby are also insisting on it.

"Things can change. We would look at that and see if the two codes could be played here."

Even if rules on ground-shares are relaxed, there would still be issues of "compatibility" to resolve and one problem would be filling the stadium for football matches. The 10,000 capacity is likely to increase in the near future and City's average gate is just under 1,000.

Duckworth says he would "need to know for certain their ambitions" before any deal can be countenanced.

Boddy said: "Worcester City has still got several options, the preferred one of which is still Nunnery Way. We would, however, welcome talks with the rugby club but no decisions will be made by the board until such time that we have presented it to the shareholders.

"You must have primacy of fixtures to play in the Nationwide Conference and to progress to the Football League."

A Premier Rugby spokesman confirmed the application to ground-share had been received and was likely to be given serious thought.