Rotherham miss Sevens and face oblivion

Rotherham have been at sixes and sevens since the end of the season, but they were not at the Middlesex Sevens at all yesterday.

Debts rumoured to be running at £1.5m and a bunch of unhappy, unpaid players have played their part, and now their most recent attempts to sell-out to a South African consortium have been thwarted by the Rugby Football Union. It has all conspired to threaten the future of Rotherham as a professional club.

The South Yorkshire club has given midday tomorrow as a self-imposed deadline for new funding, after which, the RFU has been informed, Rotherham will cease to function as a rugby club.

As dramatic and final as that might sound, in fact Rotherham's future can only be described as uncertain. There are still whispers of a local consortium interested in buying out the club. But if they do go out of professional existence, the belief, locally, is that they will re-emerge as amateurs in Yorkshire League Six in a year's time.

They missed a high-quality tournament dominated by the British Army, who benefited from the Yorkshire club's withdrawal by getting into the quarter-finals on a walkover, and the pre-tournament favourites Gloucester.

The final was a titanic clash. The Army - fielding a battalion of Fijians - had run in nine tries on the way, Gloucester an impressive 12. The electric pace of Gloucester's trio of James - Forester, Bailey and Simpson-Daniel - as well as Marcel Garvey, caught the imagination of the 28,000 crowd and they started brilliantly, with Alex Page scoring in the first minute.

But Apolosi Satala, just back from Iraq, hit back with his fourth try of the tournament, which set up a dazzling battle. The brilliant Bailey scored his fourth, running the length of the pitch.

Ratu Naulivou countered after some unbelievable handling and Isoa Damudamu got the soldiers ahead. Gloucester were not finished, as Simpson-Daniel sprinted over to level the match.

Despite a great finish by Garvey, further touchdowns from Epeli Qelikibua (twice), Damudamu and Satala ensured victory for the second time in four years for the Army. Yet Gloucester's effort in getting to the final was all the more meritorious since they lost their playmaker, the England Sevens captain Simon Amor, with an ankle injury in their opening match against Newcastle, the eventual Plate winners.

Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there