SOUTH Woodham Ferrers Rugby Club are celebrating promotion into London One North - three weeks after losing their play-off final.

Woodham were seen off 48-7 by HAC but the result has been overturned after the Londoners fielded an ineligible player.

And Woodham’s head coach Tony Woods is delighted to be taking the team into London One North next season.

“It’s obviously very strange how it’s happened but it’s what the club deserves after all the hard work that went into last season,” said Woods.

“The year before we were fourth from bottom and only just above the relegation zone so it’s all come together nicely.

“We’ve had great support at home and the whole club has put in a lot of hard work so to be rewarded with promotion is a nice feeling.”

Woodham finished second in the London Two North East table last term after winning 17 of their 22 league games.

Despite their fine run of results, Woodham found it tough going against HAC.

But it did not take long for news to filter through about a possible reinstatement.

“It was about a week after the final that we first heard about what had happened and what might change,” said Woods.

“The RFU asked us if we were interested in getting promotion and we said yes straight away.

“After that, our administration staff took control and there was a hearing followed by a seven day period for appeals.

“We haven’t been given any details about the player involved but it’s now been confirmed we’re going up.

“It’s been hard trying to hide it from the squad.

“But we’re able to speak about it now which is good.”

Woodham’s promotion means they will be lining up in London One North next season.

And Woods is expecting a tough test at that level.

“I think it’s going to be a big step up,” said Woods, whose side will now be in the same league as nearby Thurrock.

“I think there are two leagues in the one division with the top half all quite established and looking to push up into the national leagues.

“The bottom half are looking to establish themselves in the league and that’s what we will be trying to do.

“But we’re looking forward to it because I think it’s going to be the biggest season in the club’s history.”