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The Brighton Rugby Football Club will only have one open grade team this season after pulling its team from the Dunedin Metropolitan premier 2 competition.
Brighton president Peter Street was reluctant to explain the reasons for the decision when asked for comment.
The club will also have three schoolboy teams.
The Brighton club has had a premier 2 team for four years, making the semifinals in 2011 and last year.
On its Facebook page, the club said the decision ''doesn't mean that you need to leave the club. We are fielding a senior team and have a very good opportunity to take the senior competition out this year as we have a solid base of some very talented players.''
The decision not to enter a premier 2 team has not gone down well with club members.
Joe Ropata said on the Facebook page: ''What a joke. Don't let them get away with it boys. It's our club too.''
Club members are concerned it could take years to get back into premier 2 ranks if it pulls out this year.
Kimberly Brian wrote that ''it will be hard to get premier 2 status back again. Last time was hard enough.
''The younger players are already leaving to go to other clubs. If we give them nothing to aspire to then they won't come to Brighton at all.
''I think this is a big mistake and an administrative issue is punishing the players that have been dedicated to Brighton ever since they could hold a rugby ball.
''You will lose the players that want to play at premier 2 level. This is a step backward for Brighton rugby.''
Brighton does not have to look far for a recent example of a club that took a break from a higher level of rugby to regroup.
Taieri decided to pull out of premier rugby in 2001, and it took the Eels eight years to get back into premier ranks.
It was a time to reassess the club's goals and objectives.
Taieri has won two banners since coming back into premier ranks in 2009.