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Dover Sharks head coach Martyn Beaumont feels 'let down' by the Rugby Football Union in the way the pyramid league system has been restructured


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By Kevin Redsull

Dover Sharks coach Martyn Beaumont believes they have been “let down” by the Rugby Football Union in the way the pyramid league system has been restructured.

Dover will be playing in the new Counties 2 Kent Division in the 2022/23 season along with Canterbury 2nds, Gillingham Anchorians, Hastings & Bexhill, Maidstone, Old Dunstonians, Old Williamsonians, Park House, Sevenoaks 2nds, Southwark Lancers, Vigo and Westcombe Park 2nds.

Dover head coach Martyn Beaumont. Picture: Tony Flashman
Dover head coach Martyn Beaumont. Picture: Tony Flashman

The RFU had said they wanted to create more local games in a bid to cut costs and increase interest, but Beaumont claims that hasn’t happened where Dover are concerned.

He said: “We are disappointed with the league restructuring and feel we have been let down by the RFU.

“Having been told the restructuring would reduce travel at grassroots level, this is not the case for us. Despite having at least eight relatively local clubs of similar standard around us, the travel element has been ignored.

“There are several London teams in our league now, which means we will be travelling a lot further than in previous years, and that creates more financial pressures on the club.

“The changes in the leagues are there to benefit the big National League clubs and hamper smaller grassroots clubs such as ourselves.

“The 2nd teams of National League clubs should, in my opinion, be placed much higher up the pyramid, but next season will tell us all we need to know.

“I hope the RFU have systems in place to prevent strong National League players dropping down to our level for certain fixtures, although I doubt they have.”

But Beaumont finished on a positive, adding: “The standard of our new league is solid and in general we are not concerned by this.

“It will be highly competitive, which is what we want, and we look forward to the challenge.”

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