With the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, effective today, Tuesday 1 September, we have moved to Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. Clubs are now able to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby and other touch rugby activity.
Limited and restricted contact rugby training is also now allowed. Varied training conditions will allow the return of tackling, lineouts and rucks, ensuring that players are prepared to perform these skills safely and effectively with some restrictions. Mauls, scrums, opposed lineouts or upright tackles are still not permissible as the transmission exposure risk remains high. Contact training sessions have to be carried out in small groups of no more than six players. Detail of the permitted training activity is available in the return to contact training guidance.
Recently updated guidance on physical activity issued by the Department for Education (DfE) permits rugby union to be played in line with our government-approved action plan, and therefore means that schools and colleges can also move to limited contact training under Stage D of the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap.
We know there are multiple decisions required on student bubbles, extra-curricular trips/enrichment, transport and physical activity before committing to playing rugby, particularly with other schools and colleges. Whilst we encourage a return to rugby activity as soon as possible, the decision to do so will ultimately rest with each school or college.
You can read more detailed information.
Competition Update – Adult and Age Grade Season
As previously communicated in the Community Game Update of Tuesday 4 August, we have to reach Stage F (which will not be reached until at least four weeks after Stage E) before full contact competitive rugby can commence. In line with the above announcement regarding move to Stage D, and with no set date on when we will reach Stage F, we can confirm that there will be no competitive rugby restart in October for adult or age grade rugby unless there is a dramatic improvement in the prevalence of the virus in the community. Specifically this means the following for the 2020-21 season:
Age Grade Rugby
The move to Stage D takes us into Playing Window three on the Age Grade competition model, and therefore:
1. All national RFU Age Grade Competitions for 2020-21 will be cancelled. This includes the National Schools Cup & Champions Trophy, Under 18 Clubs Cup (Boys), Under 15 and 18 Clubs Cups (Girls) and ACE League.
2. The Age Grade Season can be extended and will end on 31 May 2021 as a one off.
This early confirmation will help clubs, schools and colleges with their current planning and scheduling. There will be further information and guidance to support competitive playing opportunities and local fixtures for the Age Grade game shortly.
The adult league season (Level 3 & below for men, Level 2 & below for women) will not commence in October. The next announcement about when league rugby will commence for these levels will be on 2 October.