Club Statement – Withdrawal from the 2019 SWRL

Club Statement from Cornish Rebels Rugby League Football Club – June 27th 2019 regarding our withdrawal from the 2019 South West Rugby League Competition. 

It is with great regret that we have informed the Rugby Football League that our club is withdrawing its first team from the South West Rugby League with immediate effect. We will not play any more first team rugby in 2019.

Firstly, we must emphasise that this is the hardest decision we have ever had to make as a club and we are bitterly disappointed to be making it. We understand, more so than many, the impact of teams failing to fulfil fixtures in a developing area and we feel this decision is what is best for all at this time as we know first hand the harm and damage that this can do to the clubs around us by not fulfilling fixtures.

Since our establishment in 2013 our record of travelling to away games has been something which we have taken great pride in. Only once prior to 2019 have we failed to fulfil a game. Geographically we have undoubtedly had the biggest challenge of any South West club and yet we boast arguably the best away record of combined fulfilment and results of all time. We have always put huge effort and immense resource into travelling to away games, making it a priority in our preparation and thinking.

In recent years our home games have been virtually non-existent. We have exercised infinite patience and done all we can to support the rebuilding of the league but as the only constant member club the drain on our focus and attention in the rebuilding period has resulted in slower progress towards our longer term goals than we would have liked. We do not want this to be the case any longer.

In recent seasons we have found ourselves in the regrettable but inevitable position where we can no longer offer a fully credible rugby league experience for our players at first team level which in turn has caused player-interest to wane. Cornish rugby players want to play Rugby League for the Cornish Rebels, but they wish to do so in a solid league structure where competitive games happen week in, week out. The lack of this in recent years has left us with just a small core of keen players, but sadly not enough to fulfil our existing commitments.

Our nearest club brought just 9 players to Camborne for our first home fixture which resulted in us having to ask new & enthusiastic players to play for the other team whilst, in the interest of our league position, our experienced players run away with the game in the first ten minutes. The game was far from the experience that we hope to offer our players. We then have to ask those same players to travel to Dorset, Newton Abbott and Barnstaple in peak holiday season and, unsurprisingly, many are wondering why they should bother.

We have therefore come to the conclusion that we cannot continue to run our first team in 2019. It is simply not financially or logistically viable to do so.

We apologise wholeheartedly to our sponsors, loyal supporters, The Rugby Football League and South West Rugby League, but we have made this decision in the long-term interest of our club and brand.This is not the end of Cornish Rebels RLFC. Our club is very much alive and our direction, goals and sense of purpose remain unchanged and if anything, more defined than ever.

Our development work with schools including the fantastic relationship we have with St Helens RFC will continue to grow in the coming years and we remain determined to provide a pathway to the very highest level of the game to every child in the County.

We will now look forward to adding resource to and intensifying our efforts to reach the heights which we set out to achieve back in 2013; To give Cornwall the Rugby League experience and spectacle that it deserves.

Yours very faithfully,

John & Rob. Chairman & Secretary.