Return to rugby – First Team

Date: 29 March 2021

Updates have already been given on social media sites regarding the start-up of social rugby and mini/junior training.

The first team squad have maintained contact, albeit over social media groups, entering into competition with 3km daily runs, quiz nights and guess the 6 nation scores. If you have been past the back of Hoppers you may have seen individual players keeping up their base level fitness on the back pitches.

From 6th April informal training will begin again on the main pitch based on what the RFU allow in their ‘return to normal’ plan. This has been made non-compulsory and is designed just to give those who want it an opportunity to do something, Donny Sutherland has had a high level of response to safety information requested before players return. Player and coach safety remains the highest priority as we come out of lock down.

At this stage no spectators are allowed and the RFU have issued the following Guidance.

You will of course be able to see what is going on from the Terrace Bar @ Hoppers but must remain seated and compliant with all Covid-19 regulations.

As it stands we will continue to hold sessions based on rugby and non-rugby activities until the end of May. It is unlikely that any form of rugby will be allowed before then and to prevent injury we would want a more normal pre-season before returning to contact rugby. If the current national plans continue, we would have a 2 week break at the beginning of June returning to a normal pre-season at the end of June provided we have a firm season start date.

Provisionally the league season is expected to start on Saturday 4 September. If that’s the case we’ll arrange pre-season games for August as usual.

With the current infrastructure upgrades the changing rooms are unavailable but should be up and running again before the start of pre-season. These changes include the building of a new set of ladies toilets and upgrading of the gents in what was the referees’ room and kit store These will have access from the changing rooms and the Dooley suite corridor serving the Terrace Bar @ Hoppers. A kit cupboard wall will be built in the changing room entrance corridor and new referees room and main kit store is being built by reducing the size of the physio/first aid room and the first team changing room.

In addition the changing room roof is being replaced and new external doors have been fitted to smarten up the general appearance.

The pictures below are very much of “work in progress”.

Mike Bailey




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