Fri 2 Sep 2022 | 09:30

Unpaid and homeless: The Warriors' plight

Unpaid and homeless: The Warriors' plight
Fri 2 Sep 2022 | 09:30
Unpaid and homeless: The Warriors' plight
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NEWS UPDATE: A coordinated social media video campaign on Friday highlighted that the Worcester players and staff remain unpaid.

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It was also revealed that one Warriors youngster – academy scrum-half Ollie Wynn – has been made homeless by the dire situation.

Players and staff were assured on Wednesday that the August 31 payroll would hit their bank accounts but that promise hasn’t been fulfilled by the financially stricken club owners, Colin Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham.

Premiership Rugby believed on Thursday at its annual launch event at Twickenham that the missing salary payments would definitely be happening and that Worcester would remain part of the 13-team league which kicks off next weekend.

However, the failure of players and staff to receive payment on Friday morning resulted in a concerted video message campaign on Twitter involving multiple people from the club.

Promising flyhalf Fin Smith, skipper Ted Hill, fellow England international Ollie Lawrence and forward Joe Batley were among those to post messages to their social media accounts, as did recruitment analyst Simon Norris who poignantly revealed that he kept private his cancer scare last year and continues to commute from Wales as he loves the Worcester club so much.

However, how badly the lack of payment is affecting the Worcester club’s employees was starkly laid bare in the 31-second video message posted by Wynn, the 20-year-old who made his first-team debut against Bristol last November in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

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In the video, which already has nearly 50,000 views, Wynn explained: “Worcester means a lot to me, as ever since I was a child looking up to my dad I have always wanted to play rugby. Fortunately, I signed a contract three years ago with Worcester and I’ve been here since. I’ve loved every moment of being here.

“Unfortunately, the last three weeks have taken a turn. We haven’t been paid and I’ve been made homeless recently. Fortunately for me, one of the older boys has put me up in their house, which I’m so grateful for which just shows as a unit how tight we are as boys and hopefully we can come through this together.”

The “older boy” who came to Wynn’s rescue was Test midfielder Lawrence, who tweeted in reply to the video: “I got you, baby.” Wynn answered: “Best ever host.”

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Meanwhile, the Rugby Players’ Association is continuing to monitor the evolving situation at Worcester.

Its latest social media message in support of its Sixways-based members read: “The RPA has seen the powerful show of togetherness from the Worcester players and staff on social media this morning. They have our total support and we will continue to work with full commitment on their behalf until the situation is resolved.”

By Liam Heagney, RugbyPass

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