YORK RUFC director of rugby Ian Thomson has expressed his delight following the club’s promotion to the North Premier and believes that the RFU’s points-per-game system was the fairest way of settling the season.

The Rugby Football Union decided the final league standings in the community leagues through a system “calculated on a best playing record formula” during the 2019/20 season.

At the point in which the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, York were 16 points clear of nearest challengers Cleckheaton at the top of the North One East table with four league matches still scheduled to be played.

There were fears at the club that the term could be declared null and void, following the lead set by the FA in football league’s lower leagues.

However, the RFU settled on a points-per-game system given how much of the season had been played (York had just four games left to play) and York secured a spot in the fifth tier for the first time.

“It was great news for us,” said Thomson.

“When they stopped the league in the middle of March, we were 16 points clear with four games to go.

“And given how the points system in rugby union works, we basically just needed one more win in order to guarantee winning the league and promotion.

“Everything that was up in the air for two or three weeks before the RFU decided what they were going to do.

“It was a bit nerve wracking in all honesty because we’d put a lot of time and effort into this season and getting ourselves into the position that we found ourselves in.

“There was talk that the season could have been voided and we’d have done all that for nothing.

“I got a call from our club president and all he said was ‘We’re promoted’.

“That was a nice moment.

"It’s great to reward the effort that the players and the coaches have put in all season.

“Of course, we didn’t want the season to end like it has done, nobody does.

"But it’s nice to have the line drawn under this and now we can start planning for next season.”

Thomson believes that the settled outcome to the season was the fairest one that the RFU could have settled upon.

“There’s a difference between the RFU’s decision and the FA’s decision for its lower leagues,” he said.

“It’s fine to cancel the season if you’ve only played 60 or 70 per cent of your games, but we’d played 85 per cent of the season.

“And there were sides that had done the reverse of ourselves and maybe only won one game all season.

“And it would have been very unfair, not just on sides like us, but on sides that were struggling to maintain a competitive level, to say to them, ‘You’re going to have to do it all again next season’.

“It’s a brave decision when you think about what the other governing bodies have been doing, but I think it was the right decision.

“I don’t think that there’s many people that will argue with the decision in its entirety.

“We’re happy anyway and we’ve achieved our second promotion in three years, so it’s onwards and upwards for ourselves.

“It’s great for rugby in the city too, for us to be promoted to Tier 5 and with the way that the York City Knights have been performing in the past couple of years.”