Rugby player out in cold after admin 'mix-up'
A TALENTED young rugby player has lost his cherished district squad place due to an administrative mix-up, his anxious mum has claimed.
Tricia Hodge has sought legal advice in a bid to persuade the sport's governing body, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), to allow Luke Waller back into the Swansea District Under-16s.
Ms Hodge said Luke, 15, has already missed out on a match against a Scarlets team.
"He could not face watching it, so he went training on his own on the beach," she said.
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"Luke is being affected, and I don't want this to drag on."
She said the wrangle dated to August 2 when Luke applied to transfer from Dunvant rugby club to South Gower rugby club. The Swansea District Under-16s squad was announced the following day.
Ms Hodge said WRU rules state that any player transferring to another club after a district squad is announced loses his district status, but that neither she nor Luke knew about this at the time. The rule aims to ensure the best players in a district do not all join the same club. Ms Hodge recalled how Luke's club transfer was taking a while because of officials being on holiday, and that on finding out that his district place was in jeopardy she requested the transfer to be put on hold.
She said she was then alarmed to discover the transfer had in fact been processed in late August, thereby allowing the WRU district rule to be invoked.
She said it meant Bishopston comprehensive head boy Luke, who plays No 8, was out in the cold. "I feel it is very important to fight this," said Ms Hodge, of Port Eynon. "Luke wants to play for South Gower and the district teams."
Luke's appeal against the loss of his district status is due to be heard tomorrow evening by a WRU regulatory committee.
A letter sent earlier this month by Ms Hodge's solicitors to the WRU said that, in their view, Luke's club status should have been "unattached" pending tomorrow's hearing, thereby allowing him to play for the district team.
The Post contacted the WRU but no-one was available for comment at the time of going to press.