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Rugby club ban on Gower teen angers mum

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 14, 2012

Luke Waller

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THE Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has upheld a ban on a Gower teenager, prompting an angry response from his mother.

Luke Waller remains excluded from the Swansea District Under-16s squad after last Thursday's WRU regulatory committee appeal hearing.

"He is distraught," said mum Patricia Hodge. "I accept that there have to be rules but there must be some flexibility when it comes to the application of them.

"I'm not sure why Luke is being punished for leaving one rugby club for another. Does it matter who he plays for so long as he plays at the age of 15?"

Luke, 15, was excluded from the district squad when he was adjudged to have transferred from Dunvant to South Gower after a specified date in August. He thereby broke a rule designed to ensure the best players in a district do not all join the same club.

Ms Hodge has maintained all along that there was an administrative mix-up in the transfer, and that she didn't knew about the August cut-off date before it was too late.

Ms Hodge, of Port Eynon, sought legal advice and urged the WRU to consider her son an "unattached" club player pending the appeal.

But the WRU committee thought otherwise. In a letter to Ms Hodge, WRU administration manager Martyn Rees said: "Having considered the documentation and after listening to the various representations, the members (of the committee) determined that Luke's valid transfer from the Dunvant RFC U16 team to the South Gower RFC U16 team was completed after the selection of the Swansea District U16 squad for this season."

As a result Luke was not eligible for the district side this season.

Mr Rees added: "Members of the committee hope that Luke continues to enjoy his rugby and that he reaches his full potential within the game."

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  • wzwzrd  |  November 14 2012, 7:26PM

    District and Welsh rugby is one big clique. Selection is decided by which club you play for and if your relative runs the team, or has a history of playing rugby. Take a look at any "honours" board in any rugby club and decide for yourself. The names on the board are always linked to another relative...year after year. Its a bit like the mafia!

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  • hobbles  |  November 14 2012, 6:06PM

    Pushy parents what a problem for people trying to run junior sides.

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