Following a meeting of the RFU Disputes Committee – arising from the interim postponement of the Greene King IPA Championship fixture scheduled to be played on Saturday 29th May, 2021 – it has been announced that the match has been cancelled.
The RFU statement is as follows:
“The Greene King IPA Championship Disputes Committee made the interim decision to postpone the round 11 fixture between Saracens and Hartpury University RFC [originally scheduled to be played on Saturday 29 May], after a small number of Hartpury University players tested positive for COVID-19 and the need to isolate several more players in accordance with the contact tracing protocols.
Further to the interim decision, a Disputes Committee meeting was held to determine next steps.
The Committee considered the specific facts of this particular case, relevant regulations and supporting documentation and concluded that the match should be cancelled. The Committee concluded that the match should be considered as a 0 – 0 draw, with no league points awarded to either team.
In light of the facts, the Committee considered Hartpury University RFC were not at fault for the cancellation of the fixture and noted that the only reserve weekend available for the Championship is 5th – 6th June. Hartpury University RFC confirmed they were not able to play that weekend as players still isolating under COVID-19 protocols and some injuries mean the club is unable to field a squad. While the positions of the clubs in the league table was not considered to be a relevant factor in determining the outcome of the cancellation, it was noted that the effect of the decision would not undermine the integrity of the competition.
There is a right to appeal.”
Hartpury does not intend to appeal this decision.
This does mean that the 2021 season is now over for ourselves and the majority of the 11 clubs who participated in the shortened campaign. We would like to send our best wishes to both Saracens and Ealing Trailfinders, who will contest the play-off final for the right to appear in the Gallagher Premiership next season.
We would also like to thank all of the players, coaches and staff who have worked so hard to ensure that we have seen at least some competitive rugby this season. As always, we are beholden to our club sponsors and to the supporters who have followed our games this season, either via the livestream or through our social media coverage.
We do hope that the 2021-22 season will be a lot more ‘normal’. In the meantime, we will continue to keep you informed of any news throughout the summer.