Academies are closing under a new Professional Game Partnership agreement

Three academies are to close, which used to belong to Wasps, Worcester and London Irish, at the end of the season. When the three clubs went into administration, the Rugby Football Union saved the academies and centralised them.

However, the London & South Central, Midlands Central, and Midlands West academies are set to be scrapped with the remaining 11 academies’ boundaries to be redrawn under a new Professional Game Partnership agreement.

The 11 remaining are the Yorkshire academy and the 10 Premiership clubs. The redrawing of the boundaries has not yet been agreed but once it is the RFU and Premiership has said players from the three scrapped academies should make themselves known to the remaining outfits, rather than the other way around.

A letter was sent to players, parents, and various stakeholders by the RFU’s performance director Conor O’Shea and PRL rugby director Phil Winstanley. It said: “Upon finalising…the boundary redrawing, you will receive…communication outlining what academy or academies you now qualify for including the contact details for these academies, we would then encourage you to make contact as soon as possible.”

Wasps and Worcester Warriors went into administration in 2022. London Irish then folded in the summer of 2023 with financial issues plaguing the Premiership.

The Premiership clubs collectively lost £25m in the last financial year. No other club is reportedly in deep trouble at the moment.

The current Premiership season sees Northampton Saints top of the table, five points clear of second-place Bath. The other clubs in the top four are defending champions Saracens and Harlequins but Bristol Bears, Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers are close behind.

Semi-final spots will be confirmed after the end of the regular season on 18 May.

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