There will be a conspicuous absence of live rugby at Bahrain Rugby Football Club in Saar this afternoon, with both scheduled senior competitive fixtures cancelled due to opposition teams being unable to field full compliments.
It was all set up to be another monumental day for Bahrain RFC, with the club set to field two senior men’s teams in competitive action on the same day for the first time in over 20 years, but both the Saudi Select XV and Dubai Eagles ultimately forfeited their respective Gulf Conference and West Asia Premiership fixtures.
The Saudi outfit are in the difficult position of having to draw on players from Khobar, Dhahran, Riyadh and further afield and, in the absence of an official home ground, have opted to play their home fixtures in Bahrain.
That Bahrain came out on top by a whopping 80-10 says much about the hosts renewed strength in depth this season, but with a number of injuries to the first XV ranks, this one was set to be a much tighter contest.
Further bad news was confirmed by the Eagles later in the week, when they confirmed they did not have the required of front row forwards to fulfil their West Asia Premiership round 12 fixture, despite having fielded two teams in competitive action just last weekend.
The first XV squad are riding the quest of a wave at the moment, after last weekend’s impressive victory over old rivals Abu Dhabi Harlequins gave them a nine-point cushion at the top of the league standings and were looking to build some valuable momentum heading into the business end of the season.
The events of the week have been a disappointing blow for the club, with their most recent competitive home fixture coming back on December 14th, when the Bahrain first XV welcomed Jebel Ali Dragons to Saar.