Newmarket Rugby Club are making plans after competitive action is pushed back to 2021
Newmarket Rugby Club are looking to make the most of a ‘very frustrating’ situation following confirmation competitive action is on hold until at least January 2021.
With the exception of the Premiership, the Championship and the Premier 15s, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) revealed on Friday that all league and cup fixtures – some of which was due to start this month – has been shelved after the recent change in the government’s Covid-19 restrictions.
On its Return to Rugby roadmap, the RFU 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.
For Newmarket, the sense of disappointment only intensifies when they see other grassroots sports getting back under way.
Head coach Martyn Wall said: “It’s not good news and it is demoralising for the lads.
“What is very frustrating is that other sports are back, and people can even do one-on-one combat sports and martial arts.
“That seems to be their concern over rugby – the amount of contact. But others are restarting and rugby is getting left behind.
“I understand some restrictions have to be made and certain changes, but some of it doesn’t sit well.”
However, the club is looking to get back out on the pitch soon with some touch rugby – a form of the sport in which players do not tackle each other but instead touch their opponents using their hands on any part of the body.
“We cannot play full contact until at least January, but we can schedule some touch fixtures,” added Wall.
“It is something we are looking to get involved in and we have been training in that form of the game.
“Hopefully it is something that will keep the guys interested and keep their motivation up.
“Numbers are high at the moment, there is a real interest in the club and we want to keep on progressing after last season’s promotion. It is far from ideal but it is also better than nothing.”