"THE majority" of Worcester Warriors players and staff will be temporarily furloughed due to the coronavirus crisis.

The club has taken the decision to join the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which allows businesses to furlough employees and avoid redundancies.

A Warriors spokesman said: "Warriors, like many other businesses, have applied to join the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which has been set up by the Government to support companies and protect jobs as a consequence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"As Sixways has been in lockdown for almost two weeks and Premiership Rugby have postponed all matches until April 20 Warriors, along with other Premiership club and professional sports clubs in general, face financial challenges, not least cash-flow.

"In order to help avoid significant wholesale redundancies across the country the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was introduced on March 20 to help and support businesses."

Applying for the scheme means Warriors can receive a grant to cover a percentage of employees' salaries for as long as they remain in the scheme.

The majority of club staff – playing and non-playing – will become furloughed workers, which means that they will still be employed by Warriors although no work can be done while they are confined to home by the social distancing regulations.

This does not prevent players from training while they are at home.

The spokesman added: "A number of staff have been identified as essential workers and they will continue to work from home as employees and will not be furloughed workers.

"We hope that these measures will help us to protect the jobs of our loyal and dedicated staff in these unprecedented times. We thank our staff for their understanding and patience in difficult circumstances.

"When rugby does resume we want to ensure that normal service is restored as quickly as possible and that we can help to put smiles back on the faces of our supporters, commercial partners and all visitors to Sixways."

Warriors’ website and social media channels will remain active. Any queries should be sent to: hello@warriors.co.uk