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RFU confirm delay in return of lower-league rugby until at least January 2021




With the exception of the Premiership, the Championship and the Premier 15s, the RFU has confirmed that no competitive rugby will be played until at least January 2021.

On its Return to Rugby roadmap, the governing body remains at Stage D, which allows adapted contact training and non-contact fixtures.

Stage E would allow adapted contact fixtures to take place, but it is not until Stage F is reached that normal match play would be permitted.

There will no competitive rugby until 2021. Picture: Mecha Morton
There will no competitive rugby until 2021. Picture: Mecha Morton

And following the recent change in Covid-19 restrictions by the government, the RFU does not feel it will reach that point before the end of the year.

A statement read: "With the increased uncertainly caused by government’s additional restrictions to curb the increase in Covid-19 cases across the country, the decision has been made so that we can provide clubs with some certainty over the next few months.

"The rugby community can continue to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby and other touch rugby activity. Limited and restricted contact rugby training can also be continued.

"The RFU continues to be in active dialogue with government about moving to Stage E on the Roadmap should we reach this point at any time before Christmas, competitive friendly matches could commence.

"The Adult and Age Grade Competitions Groups will be making recommendations to Governance on what they can do to ensure that any competitions from January are meaningful, including whether to make changes to the structured season.

"Governance also agreed that any decision to suspend promotion and relegation for the 2020/21 season would be referred to Council once the nature of the competitions is known."