Worcester were suspended from the English Premiership and Premiership Rugby Cup for the rest of this season on Thursday and will be relegated from the top flight after plunging into financial crisis.

The Warriors were partially liquidated on Wednesday as British Customs and Revenue chases an unpaid tax bill estimated at £6 million ($6.6 million).

"Following a meeting of the RFU's Club Financial Viability Group today, the RFU can confirm the suspension of Worcester Warriors from the Premiership and Premiership Rugby Cup for the remainder of the 2022/23 season," a Rugby Football Union statement said.

The decision was taken by the RFU's financial viability group to give Worcester the "best chance for a long-term sustainable future".

Worcester, whose players and staff had their contracts terminated on Wednesday, can appeal their relegation if they can show there was a no fault insolvency.

Warriors captain Ted Hill, Ollie Lawrence, Fergus Lee-Warner and Valeriy Morozov had already joined Bath on loan.

Following the latest ruling, British and Irish Lions winger Duhan van der Merwe returned to his former club Edinburgh.

Administrators Begbies Traynor are seeking a buyer for WRFC Trading Ltd and are talking to two consortiums.

The RFU said the decision to suspend Worcester would allow "space and time" to prioritise a potential deal.

The RFU said the progress made by the administrators, including relating to the land around Sixways Stadium was encouraging.

"It has taken the decision to suspend the team in order to prioritise the space and time to work with Begbies Traynor to support the prospect of securing a deal with the right investor, giving the club the best chance for a long-term sustainable future," the RFU statement said.

"As the club no longer has staff and players on contract and with many seeking alternative employment, the decision has been made to focus on how the club can be viable over the long term.

"This is a complex situation and any potential investors and management will require due diligence and approvals from the RFU and PRL (Premiership Rugby)."

- 'Long-term viability' -

By taking the decision, the RFU believes it gives certainty over protecting the integrity of the Premiership, allowing clubs and their teams to plan for the rest of the season.

Premiership Rugby chief executive Simon Massie-Taylor said: "Our priority is to find the best long-term solution for Worcester Warriors and we are encouraged by the progress the administrator has made in such a short period.

"However what is clear is that it will take much more time to get the right solution in place for the club.

"Whilst we appreciate this decision will be disappointing to many people close to Warriors, we value the certainty this decision brings to the other Premiership clubs.

"We will now continue to work with administrators, the RFU and other key stakeholders to find the best outcome."

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney added: "All parties continue to work together to provide the best possible outcome for Worcester Warriors over the long term."

The administrators remain hopeful a deal can be reached to see the club return to action next season.

Begbies Traynor spokesperson Julie Palmer added: "Whilst disappointing that there will be no men's rugby at Sixways this season I fully appreciate the position of RFU and PRL.

"I am reassured they are continuing to work with us in a positive way to try and achieve a rescue to enable rugby to take place next season in a properly structured approach to enable the long term viability and success of Worcester Warriors."