EVESHAM will be barred from entering the Rugby Football Union’s Midlands Senior Vase next season after they forfeited their second-round fixture at Wednesbury.

The Lower Albert Road outfit were struggling to field a team due to a host of injuries and players being unavailable, so club officials decided to hand their hosts a walk-over into round three.

The cup organisers were informed in good time, so Evesham will not face disciplinary action, but their withdrawal at this stage means they cannot enter the competition next term.

Head coach Gary Diston explained: “With injuries and unavailabilities, we were struggling to get a side together, so we made the decision to pull out of the cup and concentrate on our league campaign.

“We wouldn’t have had a very strong side, so we contacted Wednesbury and everything was done in plenty of time.

There were no problems on that front.

“The only comeback for us is we will now not be allowed to enter the same competition next season, but that is not so bad as we are in the bottom tier of teams that enter and don’t get any money from it.

“We are up against teams from higher divisions who can afford to pay their players and it is difficult for us. If we’d had enough players available, we would have played but were really struggling for numbers.”

The injury problems have eased, however, and Diston hopes to have a near fullstrength squad to select from for Saturday’s Midlands Three West (South) home clash with Kings Norton (2.30pm).

Evesham have only dropped one bonus point in taking 19 in total from their opening four league games and sit second in the table ahead of fourth-placed Kings Norton.

Diston added: “It will be a good, hard game and we will know where we are for the rest of the season depending on how we get on against a team like Kings Norton.

“We should be at full-strength apart from at hooker which might mean we need to shuffle the team a little bit.”