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The number of Hampshire Merit and Cup fixtures cancelled last season "noticeably increased" on previous season writes Brian Seeney.


Rick Scott (Hampshire RFU Executive Director) told last night's packed Annual General Meeting at Tottonians RFC last night that the situation "must not be allowed to continue."


Rick said he had taken "every opportunity" to meet with and "encourage clubs to honour all of the fixtures in all competitions they entered."


But he said that "sadly, it would appear that this was to no avail, as the number of cancelled fixtures noticeably increased."


He told his audience that Hampshire RFU were not alone in suffering from too many match cancellations.


"The recently published RFU Adult Competitions Review suggests that this is in line with a national trend, where as many as 25% of all non RFU league programmed fixtures are not played," he said.


"Clearly, if we want to have meaningful competition in Hampshire for our 2nd & 3rd XV's, this must change."


Rick said the County's Competitions Sub-committee has again reacted to suggestions from clubs and changed the format of Merit Tables.


"The competition are notionally, geographically based Leagues. This will cut down on travelling time and subsequent cost and, where requested, Isle of Wight based fixtures will see club first and second XV's travelling together," said Rick.


"Taking time to acknowledge that, with your attendance, I am preaching to the converted, let us not shy away from the fact that the success of both Merit Leagues and County Cup rests squarely in the hands of you, the clubs.


"The current trend must not be allowed to continue."

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