The government has announced a framework for the return of recreational team sport which is applicable from Saturday 11 July. This is a welcomed development and a positive step towards the return of some form of competitive rugby. The framework was developed following discussions with other team sports, Sport England and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The next step is for the RFU to develop it’s own rugby action plan, based on the framework, specifically considering the Coronavirus transmission risk and demonstrating mitigations and any adaptations to the game that are required. This will need to be agreed to by government, PHE and HSE before it can be implemented within clubs. Due to the intrinsic nature of rugby and the proximity of participants, it is recognised that there is the potential for an increased risk of droplet transmission. Working with expert medical advice and applying the activity exposure framework to various formats of rugby, we will update following our discussions with government. In the short term, it is likely that the format of rugby the community game is able to play will be a modified version, not the full 15-a-side game.
We will update the game as to when it can move to the next stage of the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap in the coming weeks. For now we remain at Stage B of the roadmap.
Under previously announced guidance, Premiership Rugby clubs moved to Stage 2: Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance on Monday 6 July, which allows for the resumption of close contact training. This involves a detailed set of protocols and includes a COVID-19 testing programme. Championship and Premier 15s clubs are eligible to return under the elite guidance should they chose to do so, or can follow the community return to rugby roadmap.
We will continue to provide updates to the game throughout the process. Please click below to remind yourself of the RFU’s Return to Community Rugby Roadmap and read the latest framework for the return of recreational team sport announced by the government.
Return to Rugby Road Map: Community Game
Return to recreational team sport framework