WARRIORS will return to action on the third weekend in August after Premiership Rugby chiefs confirmed a target date of Saturday, August 15 for the resumption of top-flight rugby in England.
The target restart date was agreed following the announcement earlier this week that Premiership Rugby clubs can move to Stage 1: Elite Sport Return to Training.
Darren Childs, chief executive of Premiership Rugby, said: “Nothing will happen until it is safe to do so but we will do everything we can to resume the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership Rugby campaign on Saturday, August 15.
“We won’t take risks with people’s health and rugby has unique challenges due to levels of proximity and impact but with a number of clubs moving to Stage 1, it is important for us to give players, coaches and clubs clarity on when they can look to return.
“Bearing that in mind, we look forward to the restart of the season.”
The structure of the 2019/20 season will follow in due course.
Warriors chiefs have revealed their support to reduce the salary cap from the 2020/21 season to ensure the viability and sustainability of the competition in the challenging economic circumstances that have been caused by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
In a statement, Warriors co-owners Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring said: “The effects of this downturn are unparalleled and would be disastrous without serious and immediate remedial action being taken by clubs to ensure we not only survive but, in the longer term, emerge stronger and more robust.
“Inevitably, some difficult decisions have to be made if we are to ensure that elite professional club rugby in England is to prosper.
“As owners we are committed to supporting a vibrant domestic game that underpins a successful England team with Premiership clubs at the heart of their local communities, helping to nurture rugby and future generations of players and supporters.
“The support shown for Warriors during this difficult time has been both humbling and overwhelming and has emphasised the important role we play in our local community.
“In order to sustain the size of playing squad required to support a fully-professional rugby club and protect the health and welfare of our players, it has been agreed to make changes to the salary cap for the 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons.
“We remain committed to delivering a Premiership that is widely-regarded as being the strongest and most competitive domestic competition in the world and with the support of everyone who plays, coaches, administers, sponsors or watches, we will continue to do that.
Salary cap changes
• The senior ceiling will be £5million (down from £6.4million), and it will continue to be linked to the central growth of Premiership Rugby.
• Home-grown player credits will be retained up to £600,000.
• International and EPS player credits will be retained but limited to a maximum of £400,000.
• Season-long loans salary cap exemption will be removed.
• The academy ceiling will remain at £100,000 (this is for non-home grown academy players) but the upper salary limit for an academy player will increase from £30,000 to £50,000. Homegrown academy players do not get counted in the £100,000, boosting the clubs’ ability to support young English qualified talent.
• For any existing contracts that continue into the 2021-22 salary year, and beyond, their cap cost will be counted at 75% of their overall actual value, to sensibly manage the transition to new cap levels.
• Excluded players will reduce to one player, except for where a club has a current contract in place for two excluded players. In that scenario, both players may remain as excluded players until the first of their current contracts expire. The decision to reduce from two excluded players to one is based on balancing financial sustainability while still attracting the best talent from around the world to the league.
• The senior ceiling will return to a minimum of £6.4million