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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Lions’ Challenge Cup clash against suspended Worcester Warriors remains on for now

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Johannesburg — The Lions remain scheduled — at the moment at least — as playing the Worcester Warriors in December, according to the Johannesburg-based union.

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The English club were suspended from all competitions earlier this week after they failed to meet a Rugby Football Union deadline, which requested proof of insurance cover and assurances regarding monthly remuneration of their players at the organisation.

The club was subsequently placed into administration, Worcester’s Sixways Stadium closed to staff and players, while both their men’s and women’s professional teams have been barred from competing in their respective leagues.

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Worcester are schedule to play in the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) Challenge Cup later this year, opening their tournament at home against the Lions on 9 December.

Independent Media understands that a meeting between various stakeholders, regarding their participation in the competition, was held this past week but that no decisive decision was taken; and that a wait-and-see approach seems now more likely.

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This is according to Lions chief executive Rudolf Straeuli, who was pulled aside briefly on Thursday as he left the Doornfontein offices of the union.

“There is no new news on that,” said Straeuli.

“The EPCR are busy discussing it. It is obviously a sensitive issue at the moment and there is still a lot that has to happen before any decision can be made. At the moment, we are playing (the match) as is.”

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The Lions will also face Stade Francais at Ellis Park in the Challenge Cup a week after the as yet scheduled Worcester clash, with the return legs dotted down for 13 and 20 January, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Lions will have enjoyed their captain’s run on Thursday in Newport, Wales, where they will face Cardiff at Rodney Parade in United Rugby Championship on Friday.

@FreemanZAR

Sport

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