Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club head coach reflects on 'harsh situation' of provisional fixture list
Head coach Nick Wakley feels Bury St Edmunds have been put in a ‘harsh situation’ after the RFU’s provisional fixtures for 2020/21 saw them handed opening September away trips to Canterbury and Worthing.
Despite RFU competition models having suggesting October may be the earliest National League 2 South level rugby could get under way, Wednesday’s announcement showed fixtures from the usual opening weekend slot in September.
Though any restart will not happen until government approval is given, dependent on Covid-19 levels, Bury could begin with consecutive 250 mile-plus round trips to Kent and west Sussex.
Under current travel restrictions, all players and staff would have to undertake separate car journeys, unless they were able to make public transport work.
And while head coach Wakley is hopeful of further clarity from the RFU on the possibility of running their own bus, he feels either way would put unwanted financial pressure on the Haberden club.
“I was hoping for an announcement to say we would be playing the more local sides to us,” he said.
“If it starts in September we’re in a position where the club has not been open, there is no money in the coffers and we’re thrown into two long away games.
“For me it is a harsh situation for the club to manage. But it is what it is, I guess. I won’t be crying my eyes out if we do start later though.”
It would present Bury with a tough start, with Canterbury having just been relegated down from National League 1.
But if the league does have to start later the fixtures lost from up to the first five weeks would be able to be tagged on to the end of the season. If it goes beyond that, a new format will be put in place to take into account less fixtures.
The first home game listed is set to be Leicester Lions on Saturday, September 19.