AHEAD of their long-awaited debut on Saturday at the well-loved Cross Green ground against Thornensians, Old Grovians’ head coach Andy Hinchliffe has asked the RFU to show more flexibility – just for this season.

Winger Martyn Mitchell (dislocated shoulder) and centre Jack Hartley (general wear and tear) are the latest players at the club to succumb to injury, leaving the already depleted Yorkshire Two side down to the bare bones.

And a despairing Hinchliffe said: “I don’t think that we will see either of them play again for a bit, and a lot of clubs are struggling to get players to commit to play.

“We have a squad of 40-odd players but last Monday morning we only had seven available, and it is really tough. We have played four matches but only one or two of ours have played in all four.

“You start to think that you are just facilitating rugby rather than coaching rugby. We had 22 training last Tuesday but only eight of those were on the field in our last game.

“The RFU have some thinking to do because they need to show flexibility in terms of playing a couple of unregistered players, just for this season, as players are getting injured because they haven’t played for 18 months.

“Unless something happens quickly there will be more walkovers, more uncontested scrums etc.

“We could use some of the Otley Saracens players in future, however, and we make our debut at Cross Green on Saturday after four away matches.”

Grovians will be hoping Otley’s form at Cross Green so far rubs off on them, with the North Premier side winning all three of their games there this season.