‘Difficult decision’ will benefit Lowestoft & Yarmouth in the long term

L&Y on the attack during a 32-5 home defeat to Woodbridge in November. Picture: Michael Howes

L&Y on the attack during a 32-5 home defeat to Woodbridge in November. Picture: Michael Howes - Credit: Archant

The chairman of Lowestoft & Yarmouth has assured players and supporters that the club's future is not at risk after the first XV dropped out of their league.

L&Y decided to pull out of London Three Eastern Counties and accept relegation to Eastern Counties One as they would have been unable to fulfil last weekend's fixture against Holt due to injuries.

'It was a really difficult decision,' Russ Wilkinson explained.

'I didn't want to make that decision, but for the benefit of the club, in order for us to come back up we have to go back down.

'It's an unfortunate situation for any club to be in and it's unfortunate for the other clubs as they're going to feel let down.'

L&Y had lost all 16 of their fixtures so far this season and were unable to field a team for their trip to Holt back in October.

After discussion with the Eastern Counties Rugby Union, the first XV will only play friendlies for the remainder of the season, although the second XV will continue in Greene King IPA Eastern Counties Two North.

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'This is now allowing us the space and time to rebuild,' Wilkinson continued.

'We have suffered some significant losses and we need to find winning ways and to allow us to do that we will be playing friendlies and building a structure. As a community and as a club we are in a good position, the problem is establishing a playing base.'

Wilkinson, in his sixth season as chairman at Gunton Park, added: 'We've got a lot of members, we've got a good youth structure, it's really our adult section that we need to look to continue to build – and if that means playing in a lower league for a couple of seasons, we're prepared to do that.

'What I'm not prepared to do is risk players getting injured.'

L&Y's second XV were beaten 63-17 at the University of East Anglia last weekend to remain second from bottom in EC2N. They are without a game this weekend but due to host Watton on Saturday, March 3.

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