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West Norfolk Rugby Club see successful campaign ended early by the RFU

West Norfolk Rugby Club’s hopes of league and cup glory has been dashed after the Rugby Football Union announced the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

The Gatehouse Lane outfit were chasing glory on two fronts, topping the London 3 Eastern Counties League table and reaching the National Senior Vase semi-final.

But with the club just one game away from a Twickenham showpiece, on rugby chiefs announced the end of the season on Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Action from theRFU regional final between West NOrfolk RFU and Reeds Weybridge RFU.Picture: Matthew Usher.. (31697171)
Action from theRFU regional final between West NOrfolk RFU and Reeds Weybridge RFU.Picture: Matthew Usher.. (31697171)

A statement from West Norfolk head coach Darren Clarke on the club’s Facebook page said: “What a difference a week makes.

“From the euphoria of last Saturday’s victory to the obvious disappointment of the season being ended early by the RFU today.

“I guess we may feel robbed of what might have been but no one can take away what we have achieved this year.

“A journey that started last summer and finished with that incredible day against Reeds Weybridge last Saturday with an undefeated season for the first team stretching 22 games.

“Promotion for the seconds and a massive turnaround in player numbers. Memories that will last a long, long time.

“A big thank you to all the players that have trained, played and supported the club this year. A special thanks to our leaders Henry, Kev and Martin for all you have done.

“It has been a fantastic team effort but we would not have had the success this year without the unbelievable input from Tom and Reggie on the coaching front and Damo on every other front.

“A massive thank you from me to you guys. Rugby will come again but in the meantime stay safe and healthy and look after each other.”

England from Bill Sweeney, CEO at the RFU said: “My thoughts and those of all of us at the RFU are with everyone impacted by COVID-19 as well as recent flooding events, both across the country at large but also within our own rugby union community.

“In order to provide clarity and to assist with immediate and longer term planning, the Rugby Football Union is announcing the end of the 2019/20 rugby season for all league, cup and county rugby in England.

“The only exception to this is the Gallagher Premiership, who we are in active discussions with to review possible best next steps.”

“When current government advice on social distancing measures changes, we will naturally encourage rugby training and friendlies to recommence.

“I would like to personally thank everyone for their swift actions in suspending rugby activity, this is not an easy time and I know many of you will have concerns that go beyond the game.

“We are working through the implications of ending the season early and have instigated a thorough process to ensure fair and balanced outcomes for the game.

“We will communicate these outcomes by the middle of April. While we would like to provide all the answers now, we need some time to get it right for the best interests of the game.

“Rest assured we are working on this as a priority and we will continue to send weekly updates to clubs.”

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