ANDOVER Rugby Club suffered a blow in their fight for league survival after the RFU upheld their decision to deduct five points from the side for fielding an inlegible player.

The All Blacks attended an appeal hearing at Twickenham on Monday night in an attempt to overturn the decision, made in relation to their 21-7 defeat against Winchester in October.

The club were accused of fielding an unregistered player, Leon Taylor, who they had resigned from Salisbury RFC earlier that month.

The All Blacks appealed on the grounds that they had attempted to properly register Taylor prior to the match only for the registration to fail without their knowledge.

However the RFU upheld the decision, claiming that the club should have checked the official registration list.

Coach Andy Waite said: “It’s very disappointing as we are certain we did our best to comply with all requirements.

“Fortunately on the pitch we’ve been more successful and last Saturday’s win still makes sure there is daylight between us and the relegation zone.”