THERE will be a general meeting over the next few days at Stourbridge RFC to vote on the proposed ‘Sixways Rugby’ project that was announced on Thursday morning.

The new owners at Sixways, Atlas Worcester Warriors RFC Ltd, revealed their plans for the future, which involved forming ‘Sixways Rugby’ team, a merger with local side Stourbridge.

Atlas’ plan is to bring Stourbridge to Sixways from the start of next season and rename the team ‘Sixways Rugby’, in which former Warriors players would come and fill the team with current Stourbridge players, to take the side up the leagues and back into the Championship.

Director of rugby at Stourbridge, Neil Mitchell, has emphasised that any proposal will have to go through a general vote amongst the club’s owners before proceeding.

"This, to emphasise, has to be approved by our entire membership before it goes ahead," he said.

"We also have to make sure we sell this to our members and Minis and Junir section as they are the heartbeat of the club.

"But it would be a massive boost to our club, we rely heavily on volunteers, that’s the same for lots of community clubs. There has been a real down-turn in playing numbers.

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"The medical staff we have, the coaching, our facility is right up there with some of the best in the area. We have established training pitches, car parking, changing rooms for both men and women, it’s befitting for Championship rugby.

"But in order to continue we need to rethink our approach. Our demographic is not really suited for recruitment. Many of the schools around us are football schools.

"At national level, we are fishing in the same pool as three other clubs around us and that has made it difficult, especially since Worcester and Wasps have found themselves in the situation they are in.

"We got to the stage this season where we lost our contacts at Wasps and Worcester, and that had a damaging affect on us.

"Injuries have also played their part and now we have found ourselves at the bottom of the league.

"So where do we go from there; that’s how I reached out and eventually got in touch with Jim O’Toole) and James (Sandford). They showed an interest in the club.

"We talked about expanding, to support Stourbridge and our structure to get us to where we believe we can be."

Stourbridge News: Stourbridge director of rugby Neil MitchellStourbridge director of rugby Neil Mitchell

Stourbridge currently sit bottom of the National League 2 West by 13 points with just eight games of the 2022/23

Relegation would mean dropping out of the National League and into the Midlands 1, which is just one level above Worcester RFC, the amateur club.

Mitchell knows there is a huge task on his hands to prevent the team from going down and says time is running out to bring recruitments in, even with this new project now on the table.

"It’s a big ask, we are currently 13 points adrift with 8 games to go," he said.

"No players have been fortchcoming. The reason this is so tight, February 17 is when we have the cut off for transfer of players, so unless we have a significant number of support coming in, we will be going through the rest of the season with a very small squad.

"It may be unikely we can sustain level 4 for this season, which would throw a spanner in the works. In the next few days, we are hoping this news will galvanise players, help them come and join us.

"We want to stay at level 4, that’s our priority, we need to stay here and it’s a big ask."