OXFORD Quins have revealed why they withdrew from the Oxfordshire Cup final – a fixture more than two years in the making.

The South West 1 East leaders were due to contest the 2020 trophy against Chinnor’s 2nd XV, the Falcons, at Iffley Road tomorrow evening.

Both teams reached the final back in February 2020, only for the game to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With no senior competition this season, Oxfordshire RFU were keen to decide the destination of the 2019/20 trophy before starting again this autumn.

But Quins wanted the final to take place after the South West 1 East season finishes next Saturday, when a win over Chippenham at Horspath Sports Ground secures the title.

Director of rugby Stuart Wells insisted the club were unable to fulfil the fixture and they withdrew last month.

He described it as a ‘communication issue’, adding: “I said we would be open to playing the County Cup final, but after the league had finished.

“In December, the club received a general email saying they would provisionally play it the week before Easter. Then we had no notice (after that).

“I said there’s no way we could play three games in 14 days, especially when two decide the league title.

“This week, coaches and players are away so it wasn’t going to happen.

“We’ll happily take part in it next season and for years to come.”

Oxfordshire RFU did not publicise the final on its website or social media channels, with the date only becoming common knowledge when Chinnor released a story on their website on March 16.

Just 13 days later, the National League 1 club issued an update saying they had been handed the 2020 title by default after Quins withdrew.

Oxfordshire RFU competitions chair Paul Weaver revealed the organisation explored the possibility of rearranging the final.

He said: “We informed them (Quins) of that date in November.

“Postponing the game was not logistically possible, although we did look into it.

“At the forefront has got to be the welfare of the players and Quins have got to take the call on that.”

Weaver added: “Oxfordshire rugby would have preferred that the final was played, but it was always going to be a challenge logistically.

“I would have hoped we’d be able to play it, but we’ve got to give the clubs leeway coming out of Covid – it would be unfair to sanction a club for not fulfilling a fixture.

“My expectation is that Quins will be in cup competitions competing as normal next season.”

In their statement announcing Quins’ withdrawal, Chinnor said: “It is obviously a far from ideal situation and certainly not the way we wanted to win our eighth senior men’s county title.”