Following Government’s announcement on Monday lifting Covid-19 restrictions, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) can confirm the reintroduction of scrums and mauls in rugby training from 19 July in the community game.
Full contact 15-a-side friendly matches will be permitted from 7 August for clubs that wish, with the new season set to start as normal for the whole community game in September.
Clubs and coaches must follow the RFU’s Rugby Roadmap and return to scrummaging guidance, to provide an incremental and safe return for all players.
“We are thrilled that community clubs and players will soon be able to return to full contact rugby,” said RFU Director of Rugby Development, Steve Grainger. Rugby volunteers, coaches, players and officials have shown remarkable resilience and patience during a challenging 16 months. They can now prepare for what’s set to be rugby as normal when the new season starts in September.
“As always, player welfare is our main priority and we need to manage the return to scrums and mauls as safely as possible. We have issued detailed guidance to clubs and Constituent Bodies via our Community Game Update, to support the safe return of players to full contact rugby for both the adult and Age Grade game. This information will also be shared directly with players, coaches and match officials.
“Players should only return to match intensity full contact rugby when they feel physically and technically ready to do so. There is no pressure to return to match play on 7 August. The option is there for clubs and players that have been training throughout the summer and are ready to progress to the next stage of re-introducing scrums and mauls if they wish.
“Between 4 and 12 September, clubs across the country will be hosting Pitch Up For Rugby events with rugby to cater for all tastes including; full contact, reduced contact and non-contact formats such as Touch and Tag. We would encourage all players and rugby followers to support their local clubs as we join together for a national celebration of rugby returning.”
Adult Rugby Roadmap
- Scrums and mauls can be re-instated in training only.
- A minimum 3-week preparation period of training sessions follows ahead of match play.
- Coaches are reminded that they are responsible for working with all players to assess their physical readiness and technical competence before returning to scrummaging. Players may be at different levels of fitness and conditioning.
- Coaches must be satisfied that players have undertaken sufficient preparation, skill refinement and reconditioning work before returning to full contact match play.
- Full contact 15-a-side and 10-a-side rugby matches, with scrums and mauls, may resume against other clubs from, and not before, 7 August
- It is the choice of clubs and players whether they wish to compete in full contact matches from 7 August. There is no pressure to do so.
- Teams that do not yet feel ready for full contact 15s have the option of playing 7s, 10s, XRugby or 15-a-side rugby with uncontested scrums.
- Start of the new season – competition dates for men’s and women’s competitions as previously communicated.
- For the avoidance of doubt, Sevens fixtures can return with full laws from Monday 19 July.
Full information for Age Grade Rugby & The Return to Scrummaging can be found here – https://www.englandrugby.com/news/article/full-contact-rugby-to-return-ahead-of-new-season