HORSHAM Rugby Club’s first team has been hit by a five point deduction for fielding an illegible player.
The penalty could hardly have come at a worse time with the Green and Whites struggling at the wrong end of the London 3 South East table.
The Sussex RFU applied the deduction after the club mistakenly fielded a player in the defeat to Medway at the end of October who had unregistered when he went away travelling.
Horsham coach Nick Stocker said: “We have suffered a five point deduction and considering East Grinstead were handed a 15 point deduction for a mass brawl which meant the game had to be abandoned I think our punishment for a clerical error is excessive.
“But that is their decision and we have to accept it and get on with it and get ourselves out of trouble.”
Horsham lost their eighth league game of the season at home to Eastbourne on Saturday and with the deduction they are on equal points with second bottom Cranbrook. They go to Heathfield, who they beat earlier in the season on Saturday and Stocker said: “With the restructuring of the leagues I’m not sure how many go down but anywhere in the bottom three is dangerous.”