Ards RFC cancelled their Senior Cup game v Ballynahich on Saturday 11th October 2014, due to the unavailability of (24) 1st XV squad players.
Ards RFC were forced to cancel their Senior Cup game v Ballynahich on Saturday 11th October 2014, due to the unavailability of twenty four (24) 1st XV squad players.
There were a number of reasons for unavailability including injuries sustained in recent matches (Banbridge, Ballymena and Sligo), training injuries, work and family commitments.
This decision was not taken lightly by Ards and has also involved much soul searching by the Senior Officers of the club.
The welfare of the players was the Club’s paramount concern.
Players from Ards 3rd XV were available to fulfil this fixture, but it would not have been fair on these social rugby players to be lined up against a Ballynahinch team which is the only Ulster team playing in the highest level of All Ireland League rugby, who are semi professional in all but name and include contracted Ulster players, Ulster Academy players and Ulster age grade players.
Ards have already experienced long term injuries to 3rd XV team players who stepped up to play in the Ulster league match against Ballymena earlier in the season.
Ards face a long and difficult season fighting to remain in the All Ireland League and do so without Ulster Branch assistance, as all Academy and Ulster age group players are pushed towards All Ireland 1A, 1B and 2A clubs.
Ards RFC have come to the decision that they must protect the welfare of their players and face the repercussions of not only the monetary sanctions placed on them by the Ulster Branch, but also being the subject of much discussion at many rugby clubs in Ulster.