King’s School first XV have been disqualified from the Daily Mail RBS Under-18 Vase competition for fielding an underage player.
King’s qualified for the quarter-finals for the first time in the school’s history after they beat Ashbourne Grammar last week.
Ashbourne’s head of rugby noticed an anomaly in the Grantham school’s player dates of birth and lodged a complaint with the RFU.
They overturned the result and threw King’s out of the competition.
New King’s head of rugby Cathal McHugh said his predecessor Jim Scott had checked the rules at the start of the season and there should not have been a problem. The rules, he said, appeared to have changed since.
Mr McHugh travelled to London this week with the under-16 prop and his father to appeal to the RFU.
Mr McHugh said they did not even see anyone from the RFU and faced a lawyer instead, who ruled that Ashbourne’s complaint was valid. The appeal cost £100.
Mr McHugh said: “The RFU took the stance that we’d broken the rules. It’s disgusting. Twenty-two boys are now heart-broken.
“Their [Ashbourne’s] head of rugby has been shown to be a bad loser.
“We didn’t knowingly break the law. We could have got further. We could have got to the final at Twickenham.”