Dallaglio clarifies comments comparing Wasps to Worcester’s Premiership plight

The former Wasps and England captain Lawrence Dallaglio has attempted to clarify his comments after appearing to suggest over the weekend, in the wake of Worcester’s suspension and relegation from the Premiership, that financially-troubled Wasps should be treated less harshly by the authorities because they were too big a club for the league to lose.

With financial uncertainly still swirling around Wasps, who served a second notice on intention to appoint administrators last week with an unpaid tax bill of £2m currently outstanding, Dallaglio has sought to expand on the views he expressed on BT Sport and “to apologise if those comments were taken out of context”.

“I don’t think it’s fair that one club should be relegated and one shouldn’t, that’s not what I was actually saying,” said Dallaglio, speaking on the Evening Standard rugby podcast. “I was saying that we need to understand there has been a global pandemic over the last three years and that we need to understand that if rugby is truly a family, then families tend to stick together, don’t they?

“I don’t agree with what’s happened to Worcester. I think it’s a heartbreaking situation. They’ve been left out there on a limb. I think rugby needs to have a really good look at itself.”

As a Wasps director, Dallaglio is all too aware of the predicament into which the club could stumble if they are placed into administration next Monday, the downfall of Worcester having set an extremely recent precedent. There are, however, at least three reported offers on the table to buy various chunks of the business, with the former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley among those potentially interested in purchasing the Coventry Building Society Arena and the wider Wasps business.

The chief executive of France’s 2023 Rugby World Cup organising committee has been sacked after a damning report by the French Labour Inspectorate. Claude Atcher was found to have overseen an “extremely degraded social environment” in which bullied employees reportedly suffered from panic attacks and burnout.

Atcher was initially suspended in August and an ethics committee report has now led to the termination of his contract with immediate effect. Julien Collette, Atcher’s former deputy general director, has been appointed as the new CEO. The Cardiff winger Owen Lane, meanwhile, has undergone ankle surgery and will be sidelined until mid December.