Resumption of grassroots rugby in England gets DCMS approval

The matches between clubs could take place from September
The matches between clubs could take place from September

The Rugby Football Union has confirmed that the return of grassroots rugby in England has been given an approval by the department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

As a result, the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap has now moved from Stage B to C and the players will initially participate in a non contract training adhering to the guidelines.

The England Board also launched a Ready4Rugby which will allow clubs to have two teams of 10 players each to play on a non-contact basis in August. The matches between different clubs could take place in September.

"Today we can confirm that our action plan to commence a safe and phased return to grassroots rugby activity has been approved by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport," an RFU statement said.

"The rugby community is now able to recommence some larger group rugby activity, initially non-contact, subject to adherence with RFU guidance."

RFU Rugby Development Director Steve Grainger highlighted the importance of having a safe resumption of the game after the pandemic coronavirus led to the suspension of sport since March.

“We know that players are eager to get back to playing team rugby and whilst we recognise that there will be some disappointment that the 15-a-side contact game cannot yet return, player welfare and safety is paramount and we must continue to manage risk appropriately," he said.

"The reaction of our community clubs over the last few months has been amazing, with many doing incredible work in their local communities. We are now delighted that they will be able to put some effort back into getting rugby activity underway.

“We are sure this news will also be welcomed by schools, colleges and universities. We will continue to work with the education sector to ensure all rugby playing institutions are as prepared as they can be for the new academic year.”

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