Injuries, illness and Covid do for the Premiership fixture

Worcester forfeit tie with Gloucester due to player unavailability

We’re used to seeing clubs at amateur level pull out of games because they can’t scrape a team together, but to see a Gallagher Premiership squad in such peril is a novelty. However, Worcester Warriors say that with just 18 players fully fit and 36 others unavailable, they could not fulfil tonight’s match against Gloucester at Kingsholm.

Illness, Covid and injuries – namely in the front-row – have hammered the club, and without the numbers the match has been cancelled. It will not be replayed and an independent panel will also convene to decide how many points are allocated to Gloucester.

In a statement, Worcester said: “When the side to face Gloucester was announced on Thursday we named the only four fit props in the club at that stage.

“The availability of Murray McCallum, who was named as replacement tighthead, was subject to him passing a fitness test on Friday morning. Unfortunately, Murray failed that fitness test.

“We apologise to Gloucester, supporters of both clubs and BT Sport for the inconvenience this will inevitably cause but exceptional circumstances have conspired against us.”

In their own statement, Gloucester said: “Gloucester Rugby is extremely disappointed to confirm that tonight’s fixture against Worcester Warriors has been cancelled, following a forfeit by the opposition.

“Worcester Warriors have stated that they are unable to field a team due to a combination of injuries and illness.

“An independent Panel will now be convened to decide the points allocation and that decision will be communicated in due course but Premiership Rugby have confirmed the match will not be replayed.

“Gloucester Rugby would like to extend its deepest apologies to our supporters. While this is not a matter which the Club were able to influence despite best efforts, we recognise the significant disruption this causes for both sets of supporters, players and staff.”

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