Legendary All Blacks Dan Carter and Ali Williams are among a consortium of Kiwi businessmen who looking to save the struggling London Welsh, according to a report in The Rugby Paper.
After going into liquidation last month, the side were granted a temporary licence to play their last two league games. However, on Tuesday the RFU said the Exiles had not met the conditions to extend that licence, expelling them from the Greene King IPA Championship and consequently the professional game.
As a result, all of their results will be expunged and there will be no relegation from the Championship this season.
In a statement yesterday the club said they were “extremely disappointed” and would dealing with the consequences of the decision before deciding whether to respond.
They added that: “The club has worked very closely with Nigel Melville, Ian Ritchie and Angus Bujalski of the RFU for a number of months to meet the criteria for a permanent licence, and the new company [Rugby 1885 Limited] believes that it did satisfy all of the conditions required in RFU Regulation 5 and the Insolvency Protocol.”
Earlier this week The Rugby Paper reported that Carter, Williams and a group of associates were set to step in and save the historic club. According to them a source said: “Ali wants to get involved with a club where he can add some value. He and Dan are both likely to be used to attract players to the club.”
Both of the former All Blacks are currently playing for Racing 92 in France’s Top 14 and are due to retire at the end of the season. They have a history of taking on ventures together outside of rugby, having been part-shareholders in bottled company Water for Everyone along with former New Zealand captain Richie McCaw.
London Welsh was formed at a Fleet Street hotel in 1885 by a group of Welshmen who wanted to create a club for fellow countrymen living in exile in the capital.
In its golden years the club hosted legends such as JPR Williams, Gerald Davies, John Taylor, Mervyn Davies, Mike Roberts and Geoff Evans, and had an amateur record of seven players selected for the 1971 Lions Tour to New Zealand.