Allianz Premier 15s to return and players will be tested for Covid-19

The RFU have confirmed a twice-weekly lateral flow testing programme for club players and staff in the Allianz Premier 15s

The Allianz Premier 15s will return to action on Saturday following a two-week break.

The 2020/21 season was suspended for two rounds due to increased prevalence of Covid-19 in the community.

Rearranged games between Exeter Chiefs and Saracens [round seven] and Gloucester-Hartpury and DMP Durham Sharks [round eight] will be played this weekend before a full programme will resume on February 6th.

The match between the Chiefs and champions Saracens will be streamed live across England Rugby and Premier 15s channels this weekend.

The RFU can also confirm a twice-weekly lateral flow testing programme for club players and staff has been introduced to complement the adapted laws and regulated training.

These adapted laws have been supported by more intensive protocols introduced across the league to further reduce and prevent any increased risk of transmission within clubs.

The RFU will continue to monitor and review minimum operating standards in line with the elite sport framework and the community prevalence of COVID-19.  

RFU head of women’s performance, Nicky Ponsford said: “We’re pleased to be returning this weekend following a break.  

“We know behaviour and following the protocols remains key to mitigating the risk of transmission but we’re pleased to be able to introduce lateral flow testing as an additional measure. 

“The intensive protocols have a specific focus on ensuring social distancing, maximising the use of masks and face coverings and minimising time spent indoors. 

“The league has been extremely competitive to date and we look forward to this weekend’s matches.”