Biggar rugby team have been stripped of their league crown and will not gain promotion to the premiership.

The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) announced on March 31 that all competitions had been made null and void due to the coronavirus outbreak.

But a Biggar RFC spokesperson expressed disappointment with the decision, since the players had already earned the Scottish National League 1 title.

Biggar past president Alistair Stewart told us: “We appreciate there are extenuating circumstances, but it’s a bit galling to have received the trophy yet not be going up [to the premiership].”

Biggar were presented with the National League 1 crown last month after a bonus-point victory over Stirling County gave them an unassailable lead at the top of the table.

They had been looking forward to competing in the premiership for the first time since the 2005/2006 season.

However, the SRU decision this week, made following consultation with clubs, has caused “huge frustration” in Biggar, according to Stewart.

He said: “We’re mindful of the fact that us getting promotion is not the be all and end all - there are people whose lives are at risk right now - but we’re still disappointed.”

Stewart said players and staff, led by first team coach David Wilson, had worked very hard this year.

“To be on a winning run, there’s an awful lot that goes into it and we’ve played some great rugby and we feel for everyone who’s supported us throughout the year,” he said.

Sympathetic messages have been sent in from “all quarters, according to Stewart, including rival clubs.

“Other teams have made comments about how hard it must be for Biggar - a lot of them are incredulous at the decision,” Stewart said, adding that the club would likely be lodging an appeal.

“That’s the general feeling,” he said. “We’ll certainly put in some sort of letter of appeal and see what’s said.”

During the SRU consultation, clubs were invited to consider five possible outcomes. One option was ending leagues as they were at the time of the shutdown, while another was declaring the season null and void.

The latter proved most popular, with backing from around half of the clubs surveyed.

Scottish Rugby president Dee Bradbury said: “We fully accept some clubs will be disappointed with this decision and share their frustration that, for wider societal reasons beyond our control, their hard work to push for success this season hasn’t yielded the rewards they deserve.”

Biggar had indicated they would be satisfied with any option - except abandonment of the season, according to Stewart.