Raiders dealt a ‘heavy blow’

RAIDERS co-chair Charles McHugh described the situation as ‘so sad’ after the RFU confirmed the cancellation of all competitive league rugby from level three (National One) and below.

Raiders have been restricted to an in-house 'Test' series this season with no league rugby being played due to the pandemic. (Picture by Martin Gray, www.guernseysportphotography.com, 28836193)
Raiders have been restricted to an in-house 'Test' series this season with no league rugby being played due to the pandemic. (Picture by Martin Gray, www.guernseysportphotography.com, 28836193)

It means a very quiet winter for the cash-strapped National Two club who were desperate to get some home fixtures played and bring in some revenue after the RFU cut their £115k grant.

But, other than one more Chairman’s Select ‘Test’ game between Corsairs and Buccaneers this coming month, it will be a largely idle season for Jordan Reynolds squad.

Even plans for back-to-back Siams in the spring can’t be assured of going ahead.

‘This is a very difficult decision for the RFU given that it impacts upon the solvency of many community rugby clubs across the UK,’ said McHugh. ‘We have all known for some time that the second wave of Coronavirus was making it unlikely that this season’s leagues could be completed. The confirmation of what we expected nonetheless is a heavy blow.’

McHugh is staying positive though.

‘The Raiders are working on ways to keep playing competitive fixtures of various kinds and to ensure the Siam Cup is played.

‘We are grateful for the continued loyal support of our players, members and sponsors who have all stood behind the club at this difficult time. We will be announcing a series of different initiatives in early course.’

The Championship, in which Jersey Reds play, remains on course to start in January 2021, but for those clubs below the RFU Council have disappointed.

‘We believe that, even if a return to full contact rugby becomes possible, playing a meaningful competitive league season resulting in promotion and relegation is no longer feasible,’ said a RFU statement.

‘Given the Government’s additional restrictions to curb the increase in Covid-19 cases in locations across the country, and growing concerns around travelling significant distances outside immediate localities to fulfil fixtures due to increased risk of transmission, the decision has been made now so we can provide clubs with some certainty for the remainder of the season.’

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