LOCAL rugby has had another setback with Wyvern Rugby Club having had to withdraw from Tribute Somerset 1.

The club’s first team were bottom of the table with -30 points after struggling to raise a team in recent months, but the second XV will continue to compete in Somerset 3 South - a division in which they are currently second behind Taunton Wanderers.

Wyvern’s chairman, Martin Howe, said: “Rugby has suffered more than most sports in recent years with a decline in men playing.

“There are many factors contributing to this, but it is the lack of young players continuing to play which has caused the biggest drop off.

“The Wyvern’s growth in recent years has not been sustainable as we have not been able to introduce enough new players.

“Despite working closely with the local RFU representatives to bring players to the Wyvern and invigorate some people to pull on their boots again, we have not had enough to offset the natural changes that occur each year.

“Sadly these changes meant we did not have the strength in depth to maintain ourselves in Somerset 1 and we found ourselves unable to field a team on several occasions.

“The knock-on effect for our 2nds, who play in Somerset 3 South, was that we simply did not have enough players to go round."

Howe added: “Faced with both sides potentially being ejected from the leagues for failing to honour fixtures, we took the decision to concede our place in Somerset 1 in order to focus on fulfilling our season's fixtures at the lower level and look to rebuild next year.

“It was a difficult decision for us to make as the players had worked hard to get up the leagues, but the reality is that all any of them want to do is play rugby and enjoy it.

“By starting again we keep it simple, we keep it fun and we will see the Wyvern Rugby Club through to its 50th Anniversary in 2020 and beyond.”

The Wyvern RFC play at the Wyvern Club, Mountfields Road, with training on Wednesday evenings at 7pm.