Saints definitely coming up as RFU produce ‘fair and balanced’ final league tables

St Albans and Hitchin should renew old rivalries next season after Saints were promoted. Picture: KA

St Albans and Hitchin should renew old rivalries next season after Saints were promoted. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

St Albans have had their promotion from Herts Middlesex Division One confirmed after the RFU produced the final league tables.

Rugby’s governing body in England had already brought a halt to the season and discussions on how best to calculate positions came up with a “best playing record formula”.

The formula, which the RFU said was a “fair and balanced” way of deciding the final league positions across grassroots rugby applies to all levels of the sport from the Championship down in the men’s game and includes the women’s community game but not the Tyrrells Premier 15s.

That has been declared null and void as “there is no promotion or relegation in this league”.

Saints were hopeful they would be given the second promotion place behind runaway leaders Hendon having got themselves into second and three points clear of Barnet Elizabethans when the league, the ninth tier of rugby in the country, was suspended with four games to go.

RFU president Peter Wheeler said: “We believe that the decisions made provide fair and balanced outcomes for the game and maintain the integrity of the competitions.

“We have listened to recommendations from the heart of the game and the approach has been ratified by the RFU council.

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“This has been a difficult decision to make in the most unprecedented of circumstances. There is no single solution that will suit every club but the approach taken is one that we believe best reflects the nature of league rugby in England.

“With 80 per cent of the season complete for the community game, we believe our approach is fair and the right one for our leagues.

“We have clubs that are clear league leaders and worthy of promotion but also other clubs who have said they would benefit from relegation to play more meaningful rugby.”

The Boggymead-based club can now look forward to plenty of battles with other Hertfordshire clubs as they should be placed in London Three North West.

That will see them lock horns with the likes of Stevenage Town, who again missed out on promotion by finishing third, Hitchin, Royston and Welwyn after they were relegated from London Two North West.

Further up Newcastle Falcons swapped places with Saracens in the Gallagher Premiership.