COLCHESTER Rugby Club have missed out on promotion to the London SE Premier division.

The Blacks were situated in second spot - and in a play-off position - behind champions North Walsham when the London One North campaign brought to a premature end due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They were hoping they had done enough to earn promotion to the top flight.

But they have been informed that the play-off promotion has been awarded to London One South team Westcombe Park.

It is thought that the southern division side have been awarded promotion due to their greater number of league points, over the course of the season.

In a statement, Colchester RFC said: 'Of course, this is gutting news for our 1st XV, who worked so hard in their promotional campaign, however, with new facilities to move to next season, we're excited to work towards the promotion next year!

'Congratulations to North Walsham & Westcombe Park, and to all our supporters throughout the season- thank you! We look forward to seeing you soon (hopefully!).'

Colchester are still hoping to wave a fond farewell to Mill Road - despite their season being cut short.

The Blacks are due to move to a new home venue based at Northern Gateway next season and leave their long-standing home.

However, they have not ruled out the possibility of playing again at their current home, before they move to pastures new.

In a joint message, Colchester RC president Maggie Whiteman and chairman Karl O'Brien said: 'You are all aware that we are moving to a fantastic new facility and we are liaising with Colchester Borough Council and RG Carters to establish when this will be ready to move into, so please watch this space!

'As and when we have new photographs of the new facility we will make sure they are posted to keep you all up to date on progress.

'It’s a shame that we have not been able to say goodbye to Mill Road in the way that we hoped, but you never know there may be a chance before we move - whatever the outcome no doubt there will be much celebrating when the pandemic is over.'

Colchester are still waiting to hear the final league status of their first team, following the abrupt conclusion to the season.

They lie second in the London One North table behind leaders North Walsham and were in line for a play-off spot.

'It has been a shock to us all and a very disappointing and extremely abrupt end to the rugby season for all of our Mini, Youth and Senior teams," they added.

'We were all obviously looking forward to an exciting and enjoyable end to the season throughout the club.

'Please keep safe and well and we look forward to seeing all of you again when the new season starts. Onwards & upwards - yours in rugby, Maggie & Karl.'