Tredegar Ironsides rugby club could fold due to lack of players
11:20am Tuesday 12th March 2013 in Gwent news
A POPULAR Valleys rugby club faces the threat of extinction after being forced to pull out of the Welsh leagues because of a lack of players.
Tredegar Ironsides was formed after the Second World War and became an integral part of the town for more than 60 years.
But after they again failed to put out a side on a number of occasions, the club has been forced out of the league.
Ironsides will nowhave to try to raise enough players to re-enter the league pyramid, but at a much lower level.
A spokeswoman for the Welsh Rugby Union said: “Tredegar Ironsides have withdrawn from the National League this season because of a shortage of players who are able to compete in Division 3 East of the league.
“The club will come back into the league next season in a lower division with every expectation that they will compete effectively in that division.
“This is not a financial matter and Tredegar Ironsides RFC retain their WRU membership.”
If the club cannot attract more players, though, that position would be under threat.
Club steward Michael Monoghan said the club would be meeting the union on Thursday to discuss the issue.
Mr Monoghan said: “We have absolutely not folded and discussions on a team for next season have already begun. The players have been really positive about it.”
County borough councillor Haydn Trollope has been an Ironsides fan since moving to the area 32 years ago.
He said: “It is just sad the way local rugby clubs can’t get players.
“I feel that when professionalism was put in the game it was detrimental for the smaller clubs.
“I know the players are all devastated because they were ready to try and give the season a big finish, but they are still training and there is hope if we can get enough players together maybe we can start the team again, admittedly at a much lower level.”
The WRU has urged clubs below the Championship not to pay players but the practice has been rife in the lower leagues, to the detriment of sides like Ironsides who have refused to bow to pressure and pay.