KENDAL rugby club is set to return to the North One West league next season.

Despite the premature ending of the season due to the current lockdown, the club has been working to return to its ‘natural home', which should cut down on travel times and costs.

A statement by club chairman Stephen Green reads: “The RFU have approved our return to North One West for next season.

“Both President Arthur and I have lobbied hard to ensure our return to our natural home, as one club needed to join North One West to balance numbers.

“We made it clear from the moment that the season ended prematurely that we wished to return to play in N1W. We had to wait for the RFU committees to review the situation and ask other clubs if they wanted to ‘volunteer’ before the move was confirmed.

“I am sure members will be delighted to see the return of local derbies with Penrith and Vale of Lune.

“At present, under lockdown, it is still unclear when and how the season will begin, but fixtures should be published by the end of May.”

Whilst training has been suspended and matches have been cancelled until further notice the club is excited to be able to get back to the pitch and continue in the division.

Green added: “This is a great opportunity for us to come back to this division.

“In the beginning we were always playing in the west, so it feels like our natural home. We are very happy to be returning.

“The restructuring by the RFU had it that a Cumbrian team should be transferred and go into the east division. Since we were chosen, we have played there since.

“It was done originally to try to cut down on travelling times for teams, but unfortunately it ended up causing us to travel a lot further for our games.

“Quite a lot of the teams we played in N1E were about two and a half hours away from us. York and Pocklington for example. Scarborough is even further away.

“We enjoyed the season very much and it was against some great teams. All very professional but it was just that the travel was very difficult.

“Making it back into N1W is much better for us.

“Throughout the season, collectively the travelling time for members of Kendal rugby club has gone up to 750 miles.

“Some games have required a three-hour travel time for players travelling from Kendal.

“Since the lockdown began it has been difficult to predict when seasons will resume and many are hoping playing may resume after September.

“Kendal rugby club has been conducting business within the confides of social distancing, including committee members taking part in meetings online rather than in person.

“It’s all up in the air about when we will start again. This lockdown affects us all. We have virtually no income, but we still have expenses.”