THERE are growing fears over the future of grassroots rugby after a second Amman Valley club was side-lined in the space of 12 months.

Penygroes RFC, which dates back 125 years, has followed Blaenau RFC and withdrawn from the national league.

Currently, several other clubs are also understood to be struggling to fulfill fixtures.

The club has now been removed from the fixture list for the first time in its history following the decision to drop out of the league by its committee two weeks ago.

Last season also saw Blaenau close its doors for good.

The move is seen as a huge blow for grassroots rugby, with the club previously boasting a first team, youth and six junior teams.

Devastated Penygroes chairman Derek McAndrew said: “We are going to take a year out and analyse how we can bring this club back together.

“We have been letting other clubs down due to the lack of players and we can’t keep on doing it.

“There have been times when we have only got 15 players in the team.

“Players who have gone to play for other teams have all said they will come back to us.”

At a meeting held last month, members and players took the executive decision to withdraw from the league for a season to focus on rebuilding the club.

Derek, aged 72, said: “In the last couple of matches, I have been keeping track on the score, giving out the water bottles and running the line.

“I can’t keep on doing it anymore.

“In a few matches, I was the only committee member present at a game.

“As a committee, we should be supporting the club and the team.

“I think what the trouble is that people are now very reluctant to act as a volunteer, and we as a club are struggling on the administration side.

“During our year off, we are going to be concentrating on recruiting more players and administration staff who are willing to help this club get back on its feet.”

The news comes six months after the Penygroes Rugby and Community Sports Association announced a five-year development which saw two top quality pitches and a cricket pitch added to Penygroes Park.

“We are still open for other sporting clubs to use the excellent facilities,” said Derek.

Any side interested in making use of Penygroes RFC’s facilities can contact Derek on 07775 548001 or email