Worcester Warriors facing exodus as Ted Hill and Ollie Lawrence join Bath on loan

Ollie Lawrence - Worcester Warriors facing exodus as Ted Hill and Ollie Lawrence join Bath on loan - GETTY IMAGES
Ollie Lawrence - Worcester Warriors facing exodus as Ted Hill and Ollie Lawrence join Bath on loan - GETTY IMAGES

England internationals Ted Hill and Ollie Lawrence are among four Worcester Warriors players who will join Bath on loan this week as the club desperately try and cut costs.

Worcester, who are in administration, are also set to lose Russia international prop Valery Morozov and Australian forward Fergus Lee-Warner.

Steve Diamond, the Worcester director of rugby, confirmed the players’ departures late on Sunday using the hashtag #Together as Worcester’s players and staff have throughout the past two months.

It comes as Premiership Rugby confirmed on Monday that the Warriors' fixtures against Gloucester and Harlequins have been cancelled. A panel will be convened to decide the result – and points allocation – of these two matches but the likelihood is that both Gloucester and Harlequins will receive five-point victories.

Hill, the Worcester captain, addressed the uncertainty facing the club’s players last week.

“People at this current moment in time are going to have to be doing their due diligence because they don’t know what is happening in the future,” Hill said.

“Boys are having to make sure that a Plan B is in place. Everyone wants everything to work out at Worcester, but at the end of the day, we are professional players.

“I think people will be being advised by their agents about what is the best thing to be doing going forward. First and foremost, we want Warriors to work out and for it to be moving in the right direction.

“We are all hoping we can be back as quickly as possible. We have all got everything crossed and are relatively positive that we can be back playing again soon, hopefully.”

The quartet’s arrival would be a boost for Bath, who have lost all four of their matches so far and are the only team yet to win in the Gallagher Premiership this season, with their latest defeat coming at London Irish on Saturday.

At least two more Worcester players are expected also to head out on loan this week as Steve Diamond, the Worcester director of rugby, tries to get game time for his players and maintain their fitness until Worcester return to action.

WRFC Players Ltd, the company that pays Worcester’s players, is not in administration but is set to be liquidated on Wednesday over an unpaid £4.5m tax bill.

Worcester’s game with Gloucester was called off last weekend, while their fixture against Harlequins this weekend is also highly unlikely to go ahead after the club were suspended from all competitions by the Rugby Football Union last week for failing to provide evidence of insurance guarantees, an ability to meet the payroll and a “credible plan to take the club forward”.

Worcester’s players were given last week off training by Diamond, with the squad set to reconvene this week for training away from Sixways, given the club’s insurance cover at the stadium has now expired.

Players and staff were not paid their salaries on Friday, leaving players open to begin the process of trying to leave the club by serving a two-week notice period.