Exeter University have been deducted 50 competition points for breach of league conditions. The South West Organising Committee responsible for running the English Clubs Championship in the South West took the decision after discovering there were some 40 occasions the rules had been broken this season. Under the terms agreed when the team joined the leagues in 2011 the University should not play players who had featured in the university’s first XV in the University's National inter university Competition.
The breaches took place over 10 matches and the deduction was calculated at 5 points per match.
The University, who originally accepted the terms, now feel the conditions to be “perverse and unfair”. They have admitted fielding players in breach of those conditions.
In accordance with League Regulations the University appealed to the South West Organising Committee which appointed an independent and experienced panel of experts from Somerset, Dorset & Wilts and Devon who rejected the appeal upholding the original decision. They commented that if the University objected to the conditions (which they had originally agreed) an appeal should have been lodged to the Rugby Football Union at the time rather than just ignoring and breaching them.
The University has now appealed to the Rugby Football Union against the points deduction which if upheld would mean it will not be promoted this year. The hearing will be held on Wednesday 18th March..
07 Mar 15 (updated 13 Mar 15)