Biggar Rugby Club have lodged an appeal against the Scottish Rugby Union’s decision to declare the domestic men’s season null and void as a solution to the shutdown in rugby caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hartreemill side were 19 points clear at the top of National League One – the second tier of the club game in Scotland – when rugby was put on cold ice just over two weeks ago, with second in the table Heriot’s Blues only having three games left, meaning they could have picked up a maximum of 15 points if the season had been played to its natural conclusion. The league trophy had already been awarded to Biggar, and their sights had turned towards preparing for a return to the Premiership for the first time since 2006.

However, that all came crashing down round their ankles on Tuesday afternoon when the SRU announced that the fairest solution to the impasse caused by the lockdown would be to mothball the league season altogether, with every side involved starting the 2020-21 campaign in the same position as they had started 2019-20.

Biggar are the only team in the Premiership/National Leagues to have been denied guaranteed promotion, while East League Three side Dalkeith are in the same boat.

Club President Johnny Bogle had initially indicated that Biggar were unlikely to challenge the decision, but having subsequently gauged the mood of the wider membership it was decided that an appeal should be submitted to the SRU and that was lodged late on Wednesday night.

"There was quite strong feeling throughout the club that we had to at least appeal," explained Bogle. "It is a very difficult situation, but our feeling is that having an 11 team Premiership next season would be workable and the fairest solution."

Bogle pointed out that news yesterday morning that Newcastle Falcons, the runaway leaders in the second tier English Championship, will be promoted back into the Premiership next season despite the fact that they could still theoretically be caught by Ealing Trailfinders, had reinforced the club’s sense of grievance.

However, in this instance, Saracens were already condemned to relegation out of the Premiership as punishment for salary cap breaches, so there was a space needing to be filled. That is not the case in the Scottish Premiership, with bottom of the table Edinburgh Accies still having a fighting chance of avoiding the drop when play was halted.

Among the objections voiced by club members is their belief that the questionnaire sent out to all clubs in Scotland which had five possible solutions to the problem was not presented as a voting card, rather a tool to help gauge opinion, and as such many clubs responded on the basis of what suits them best rather than what is the fairest outcome overall.

The five solutions considered were: to promote and relegate based on the league tables as at the time of the suspension; to take an average of points over the season and promote and relegate based on this outcome; to count earlier fixtures as double headers and promote and relegate based on this outcome (where neither home or away fixtures have been played award two points to each team); to award two points to each team for all outstanding fixtures; or to declare the season null and void with no promotion and relegation.

“We believe we are a Premiership club – especially with the new Super6 structure – and we felt we had timed our run perfectly,” reflected Bogle. “Our academy is now beginning to really pay dividends with 90 percent of our squad having come through our own system, and we’ve had a few older heads like Craig Borthwick come in to provide experience, so we felt we were ready to make the step up and I think our results proved that.”