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Wasps plan to begin revival by exploring possibility of permanent move to Kent

The former Premiership giants Wasps have announced their intention to explore the possibility of establishing a permanent home in Kent. The club, who were removed from the Premiership last year after falling into administration, say they are “actively engaged” with Sevenoaks district council to identify a suitable location.

In the short term Wasps plan to begin their revival by playing and training at Sixways, the home of Worcester Warriors, another of the three clubs, along with London Irish, who have recently collapsed.

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Referee Barnes gets Rugby World Cup final appointment


England’s Wayne Barnes (pictured), the most experienced referee in history with 110 Tests, will officiate Saturday’s World Cup final between New Zealand and holders South Africa in Paris, World Rugby confirmed on Monday.

Barnes will have his compatriots Karl Dickson and Matthew Carley as his assistant referees, with Tom Foley named as the television match official.

“Congratulations to the match official team,” Rugby Football Union CEO Bill Sweeney said. “We are so pleased that Wayne will referee his first final alongside Karl, Matthew, Tom and Luke.

“It is the first time in World Cup history that all the officials have been appointed from one union and it speaks volumes for the quality of English officials and this group who work so brilliantly alongside one another.”

Australian Nic Berry is to officiate Friday’s bronze final between England and Argentina that will also be played at the Stade de France. He will be assisted by Nika Amashukeli from Georgia and Ireland’s Andrew Brace.

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Wasps said in a statement: “Having faced significant challenges with regulation and funding, the club has persisted with its determination to revive Wasps at the highest possible level. As the development progresses through its planning stages, Wasps will be actively exploring temporary facilities to underpin its operations in Kent.

“Whilst determined to establish a base in the southeast of England, the club has also agreed an option of utilising Worcester Warriors’ Sixways ground for both training and playing purposes, without in any way replacing Worcester Warriors RFC and indeed committed to assisting their return to competitive rugby.”

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A prospective move to Kent would make a fourth home for the club, who played most of their 156-year history in London, before moving to High Wycombe in 2002 and Coventry in 2014.