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Injuries force struggling Easts to forfeit John I Dent Cup match against Tuggeranong

Easts have sensationally forfeited their John I Dent Cup match against the Tuggeranong Vikings four days after being thrashed 92-0, and there are fears for the foundation club's future in the competition.

It is believed to be the first time in recent history a first XV team has failed to have enough players for a game.

Easts' decision to withdraw from first grade, second grade and colts matches against Tuggeranong is a major blow for the competition's strength.

Easts contacted Tuggeranong on Tuesday and cited 28 injuries across all grades as the major reason for forfeiting the clash on Wednesday night at Viking Park.

The game was being played as a make-up match for the round-one washout. But it pitted competition strugglers Easts against Tuggeranong just four days after the Vikings romped to a 92-0 win on the weekend.

Easts is the only foundation club left in Canberra's premier rugby competition. But it has struggled to be competitive since making the grand final in 2008 and has won only a handful of games in recent years.

First XV coach Jeremy Osborne quit the post 10 days ago and has been replaced for the rest of the season as the club searches for a successor.

There are just seven teams in the John I Dent Cup and Tuggeranong coach Brad Harris hoped Easts could stay strong in the top grade.

''We were expecting them to play, and would have loved a game [on Wednesday night],'' Harris said. ''But we understand Easts are in a difficult position as a club and it's hard to look selfishly at the situation.

''We hope they get back on track ... they're a foundation club going through a bit of a rough patch, and hopefully they can regroup and get back up and running for this year.

''It would be a real shame to lose a team in our competition – when you've only got seven teams, you need everyone you can get.''

The John I Dent Cup has been strengthened in recent years by ACT Brumbies players committing to club rugby in Canberra.

Easts were one of the major beneficiaries, but they have only had a few Brumbies-allocated players available to play this season.

Osborne won just four of more than 20 games since returning as coach last year. He opted to stand aside to allow the club to start planning for the future and is still playing fourth grade and helping the colts team.

In the club's matches against Tuggeranong last weekend, first grade lost 92-0, second grade lost 84-7, and the colts were beaten 81-5.

Three years ago, a struggling Easts were beaten my 100 points on multiple occasions.

It is hoped the introduction of the National Rugby Championships will further boost Canberra's club rugby ranks.

The Brumbies are set to announce their NRC squad in the coming days, with up to 16 club players to join the Brumbies' contracted allocation.

Meanwhile, Royals got redemption against Wests in their make-up game at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval on Wednesday night. Wests beat Royals at Phillip Oval on Saturday, but Royals bounced back to claim a 25-10 win four days later to ensure they remain in touch with the competition leaders.

Easts have not won a game this season and will play Wests on June 14 after the competition bye this weekend.

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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