Leith RFC decision

A Scottish rugby club that declined to participate in a rescheduled league fixture because it clashed with a commitment it had made to a local charity will not be subject to any sanction.

The East Region Competitions Committee – a group of volunteers elected by the clubs that play in the RBS East Regional Leagues – had rescheduled the Forrester v Leith RBS East Regional League Division 2 match to Saturday 20 December after wintry weather had caused the postponement of the fixture the previous weekend.

Last Saturday (20 December) was a stand-by date that the East Regional League clubs had agreed.

Christmas trees

Leith RFC had made a commitment to support the Bethany Christian Trust Caring Christmas Trees project, a local charity that was selling trees at Ocean Terminal in Leith that day.

When the club realised the clash it sought dispensation to further reschedule the match but the Committee, mindful of fixture backlogs which can arise through bad weather then lead to amateur players playing on until April and May, asked them to fulfil the fixture.

Leith decided to honour its commitment to the charity and the fixture against Forrester was not played.

Barry Sinclair (Portobello), convener of the East Region Competitions Committee, has advised Margaret Smith, the Leith RFC secretary, that no penalty will be imposed.

He wrote: "The Committee  . . . (has) determined that no sanction be imposed on this occasion.  The rationale for the decision is that had dispensation been sought at the time of agreement to commit to the charity event, the Committee would have given fair consideration.

Reminder

"The Committee does wish, however, to remind clubs of their acceptance of the terms of the Club Participation Agreement in respect of obligation to stipulated stand-by dates.”

Mr Sinclair added: "I'm happy that the charity event was successful and that Leith RFC's stock in the community has risen after they volunteered their support for a most worthwhile cause.”