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RFU provisional 2020/21 fixtures are released with Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury away on first weekend in September while Diss would be set to host Stowmarket on September 26




The RFU has released its provisional fixtures for the 2020/21 season from Level 3 down, with the caveat that government approval will be needed on which of three previously released date windows to start the season by will be able to take place.

It says most leagues have been split in two based on geography, while some others elected not to be split. The season has been divided into three windows. In the first window clubs will play each team in their group, home and away. Provisional dates have been allocated to these games. If rugby has not started by these dates, each week will be automatically moved to the end of the first window.

An example is given of how things would work for a 14 team league on their website.

RUGBY - Bury St Edmunds v Redruth..Pictured: Alfie Gardside chases a loose ball, but fails to connect.....PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (38538733)
RUGBY - Bury St Edmunds v Redruth..Pictured: Alfie Gardside chases a loose ball, but fails to connect.....PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (38538733)

Bury St Edmunds are in the earliest wave of community leagues set to get under way, pending government approval, on September 5 – the same timing as they began 2019/20.

Their National League Two South league would remain as a straight 16-league competition and would kick off for the Wolfpack with a trip to Canterbury, followed by another away day, at Worthing on September 12.

The first home game would follow against Leicester Lions on September 19.

RUGBY - Sudbury v Amersham & Chiltern..Pictured: Jake Sumner....PICTURE: Mecha Morton... .. (5056974)
RUGBY - Sudbury v Amersham & Chiltern..Pictured: Jake Sumner....PICTURE: Mecha Morton... .. (5056974)

If the first window of fixtures was not able to get under way due to complications with Covid-19, the league could start under the second window from October 10 with Bury travelling to Rochford Hundred.

The last game before Christmas, which traditionally attracts a bumper crowd, would see Old Albanians travel to the GK IPA Haberden on December 19.

For Sudbury in London 1 North the season could also get under way in the first weekend in September but the league has split into two regional groups of seven teams.

Sudbury would be in a group with Brentwood, Colchester, Shelford, Southend Saxons and Thurrock.

RUGBY - Stowmarket v Diss..Pictured: Luke Keatley (S)...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (38538799)
RUGBY - Stowmarket v Diss..Pictured: Luke Keatley (S)...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (38538799)

Neil Dachtler's side would be due to play the opening round on September 5 at Shelford before hosting local rivals Colchester the following weekend, on September 12.

The season could also start in the second window, on October 10, and see Sudbury begin by hosting Norwich, before having a free weekend the following week, due to the odd number of teams in the groups.

With London 2 North East having also agreed to the regionalised group start, Diss would be set to host Stowmarket in Conference A on September 26. Southwold, Ipswich, West Norfolk and Wymondham would also be in that group.

RUGBY: Newmarket v Colchester Harry Robbins makes it 15-0 to Newmarket. Picture by Mark Westley. (30040292)
RUGBY: Newmarket v Colchester Harry Robbins makes it 15-0 to Newmarket. Picture by Mark Westley. (30040292)

Stowmarket would travel to Ipswich the following weekend before their first home game would Matt Edison's side host Wymondham on October 10.

Diss would travel to West Norfolk on the second weekend before hosting Ipswich on October 10.

If the second window start were to happen, Stowmarket would start with a home game with Ipswich on October 31, while Diss would host West Norfolk.

London 3 Eastern Counties could begin on October 3 with two groups of 5 playing each other.

Thetford would initially be Conference A with Holt, Wisbech, Norwich Union and Fakenham. They would begin by travelling to Norwich Union before hosting Holt the following weekend.

Newmarket, Ely, Ipswich YM, Thurston and Woodbridge would constitute Conference B.

The opening round of the first window to start would see Newmarket host Ely on October 10 with Thurston travelling to Ipswich YM in a repeat of last season's Suffolk Cup final.

Due to the odd number of teams, Newmarket would sit out the second weekend while Thurston hosted Woodbridge and Ely welcome Ipswich YM.

If the second window to start the season was used, the campaign would begin for the sides on November 7.

The full fixtures can be viewed here.

*The Eastern Counties fixtures for Level 9 sides, in 1 North, 1 West and 1 South has not been published with the RFU saying they will "be advised locally via CB competitions committee'.