Front-row crisis forces Kenilworth to pull out of cup final

Kenilworth;s front row in semi-final action against Berkswell & Balsall.
Kenilworth;s front row in semi-final action against Berkswell & Balsall.

Kenilworth Rugby Club have had to withdraw from Sunday’s Warwickshire County final against Nuneaton after an injury crisis left them without three of their four first-choice front row.

Skipper and head coach Jonny Cresswell is awaiting knee surgery, Nick Collett has rib cartlilage damage and Ross Lowthian has injured ankle ligaments.

A statement from the club said: “Whilst such injuries would not normally prevent the Glasshouse Lane club from fielding a squad for the final, having ‘survived the season’ with only a bare minimum of front row players, we now find ourselves in a situation whereby we simply have insufficient players who can safely fill the key front-row positions, particularly as cup rules require five front-row capable players to be available for the final.”

Kenilworth’s situation is further compounded by the need to continue to compete in league games by ensuring the scrums remain ‘competitive’.

If at any time they are unable to field four front row player for the remaining league games they are at risk of accruing penalty points, putting them at risk of relegation.

A request to delay the final until the end of the season was denied by Warwickshire RFU.