Snow leaves Saints stranded in Timisoara

Members of the Saints squad did their best to shovel snow to allow the plane to take off but there efforts went unrewarded
Members of the Saints squad did their best to shovel snow to allow the plane to take off but there efforts went unrewarded

Saints were left stranded in Romania on Saturday night as heavy snowfall caused the cancellation of the flight back to England.

It was the second big problem of the day for the black, green and gold, who had earlier seen their Challenge Cup clash with Timisoara Saracens called off.

The cancellation of the game came at 2pm, 30 minutes before the game was scheduled to start at Stadionul Dan Păltinișanu.

The pitch was completely covered in deep snow, meaning there was no chance that the European encounter could be played.

The Saints team, coaches and supporters, who had opted to book on the club trip, then headed to a short post-match function at a local restaurant.

Their flight was brought forward, with the plane due to depart Timisoara Airport at 5.30pm.

However, no boarding was possible until around 7.30pm as staff battled to make the journey possible with the snow continuing to fall heavily.

Eventually, the plane was boarded, but the wings required de-icing, causing further delays.

As the hours ticked by, more problems arose.

The runway was closed for a time as it required clearing of snow, and the tug truck that was brought in to try to help the plane taxi to the runway got stuck.

It led to players, coaches, club executives and supporters leaving the aircraft to try to help clear snow from the area around it.

But it was becoming increasingly unlikely that a departure would be possible.

And finally, after several hours of waiting on the plane outside of the main terminal building, the flight was cancelled.

That prompted fears that all passengers would have to stay at the airport overnight, but buses were able to be brought in to transport everyone back to hotels.

Most supporters arrived back at their original hotel at approximately 3.30am local time on Sunday.

And the attempts to return to England will now be revived this afternoon.

Saints players tried to dig the tug truck out

Saints players tried to dig the tug truck out