Grassroots rugby union clubs are looking ahead with optimism after the RFU’s Return to Rugby Roadmap (for England) moved to Phase C.
Following Government approval for the return to competitive grassroots rugby, the governing body has shared guidance on the next steps.
Due to the close proximity and contact of players in rugby union, with tackling and scrums, the phased return is over longer than other sports.
For rugby union, Stage C means non-contact training or games of up to ten players per side within each club. Full contact (Stage F) with all 15 players is some way off but this is progress.
The guidance for rugby clubs includes pre-arrival checks by individuals and clubs, numbers onsite, travelling, use of equipment and much more to ensure everyone is safe and reassured, as the grassroots game gradually gathers momentum.
Grassroots rugby clubs can now play Ready4rugby; essentially a form of touch rugby where there are a number of phases in mini-games of up to 15 minutes each.
Players can be ‘tackled’ if a ball carrier is touched on the waist or below; at which point they must pass.
Other Touch Rugby activity (such as O2Touch centres) can also restart again. The next step beyond this, perhaps in September, is for clubs to be granted permission to play Ready4Rugby against other clubs.
To read more about Ready 4 Rugby, visit the RFU website.
Here’s how to find out about COVID-19 community game updates.