Cambridge House set to be stripped of rugby title?

CAMBRIDGE House look set to be stripped of their recently-won Northern Bank Schools Trophy success, Times Sport can reveal.

The Galgorm Road school appear to be the innocent victims of a mix-up in new player eligibility rules introduced this season.

Cambridge beat Portadown College 15-14 in the final a fortnight ago but it now transpires that one of their players that day was over-age for the competition, under the new regulations.

It is understood that the player had moved to Cambridge House to complete his A-levels and had repeated a year at his previous school, thereby making him too old under the new ruling.

Cambridge House coach Rab Gregg said the IRFU's Ulster Branch had been in touch with the school and rejected any suggestions of deliberate wrongdoing.

"The new rules were brought in this season and it's no longer the case that simply being a pupil at the school would make you eligible to play for the school team.

"It's our mistake simply because we hadn't really thought anything about it - it had never happened before in the long history of schools' rugby competitions here.

"Had we been aware of it, the player would not have played in the team this season.

"It's disappointing for the boys but it's more a case of an innocent oversight," added Rab.

Times Sport had not received a response from the Ulster Branch at the time of going to press but it seems likely that the Ballymena school will be stripped of the title and the trophy awarded to Portadown.

It is also understood that Ulster Branch chiefs are to review the controversial ruling for next season.