Oxford Harlequins, relegated from South West 1 last season, are celebrating this week after being given a shock reprieve.

Quins went down to South West 2 East on points difference after losing to Clevedon on the final day of last season.

However, Wakefield's demise and withdrawal from National League 2 further up the RFU's league pyramid has had a beneficial effect on Quins.

Originally, the RFU decided that because of the cascade effect down the league structure there would be only 13 teams in National 2 instead of 14.

But Rosslyn Park, relegated from that division last season, appealed against that ruling.

On Wednesday night, the RFU decided to uphold Park's appeal with the following consequences for this coming season:

Rosslyn Park to be re-instated to National League 2

Dings Crusaders are to be re-instated to National League 3

Oxford Harlequins are to be re-instated to South West Division 1

There will be no financial assistance to these three clubs in respect of any reprinting and other administrative costs caused by their re-instatement.

The cascade went no further, as Stow-on the Wold, relegated from South West 2 East last season, indicated they did not want to be re-instated.

So, South West 2 East will therefore be reduced by one team.

Rosslyn Park have agreed to offer friendly fixtures to clubs on the days when they would have played Quins.

"We're absolutely delighted," said Oxford Harlequins secretary Keith Latham yesterday.

"We felt we were unlucky to go down, especially with a long series of injuries to key players.

"Now that we have been reprieved, we feel we are capable of improving on last season's performance.

"It is fair to say we are elated, and a few of us will be celebrating with a few lemonades tonight."

Latham said the club had not incurred any extra printing charges as they had put their fixtures cards on hold, pending Park's appeal

As Quins will be taking over Dings Crusaders' fixtures, the reigning Oxforshire Cup holders will be opening their South West 1 campaign at home to Bridgwater & Albion on September 4.

Quins coach Matt Maudsley said that the reprieve would help them to recruit better players.

"We will now be able to attract those players who would not have joined us while we were in Division 2 East," he said.

"It's a great boost, but now we must make sure we learn our lessons from last season."