Rugby

Devon One runners-up Tamar Saracens play waiting game over league future

PLYMOUTH rugby club Tamar Saracens say they are still unsure about which division they will be playing in next season.

The Ernsettle-based side finished as runners-up in Devon One in the curtailed 2019-20 campaign. That would normally have secured them a play-off match against the Cornwall One runners-up, but due to the coronavirus pandemic the RFU cancelled the end-of-season winner-takes-all games.

Instead, the RFU recommended that only unbeaten champions Withycombe went up from Devon One, but two sides – Hayle and Newquay – be promoted from Cornwall One. That recommendation was based on a points ratio basis and not on the historic strength of the respective leagues.

However, Tamar Saracens have been told that both Cornish sides do not want to make the jump up to the Cornwall/Devon League and that there has been an appeal against promotion.

Sarries have told the RFU that if there was an opportunity then they would like to go up, but now they have to wait to see what happens with the Cornish clubs.

“It is up in the air at the moment,” said Sarries head coach Pete Lethbridge. “We don’t really know what is happening. Apparently it has gone to an appeal.

“Hopefully, by the beginning of May we will know what the decision is.

“We have had a committee meeting and if we get the opportunity to go up then we would take it. We have told the lads that there is a possibility that could happen, but we are just waiting to see.

“We have started pre-season training – obviously not together – but just doing fitness online.

“At the moment we are aiming just to get fit for Devon One, but there is still the possibility that we could go up the Cornwall/Devon League. If that is the case then obviously everyone will have to work even harder. But we’ll just wait and see what happens.”

Sarries say they have already had players interested in joining them, which ever league they are playing in next season.

“We have a few people interested in coming to us and if we do get promoted that would help us out,” said Lethbridge.

Sarries played in the Cornwall/Devon League during the 2016-17 season but it proved a tough campaign for them and they finished bottom with just two wins to their name. However, they feel they will have learned from that experience and would be better prepared for life at level eight if they did go up again.

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