Rugby Is Back!

The RFU have announced their timelines for the return of grassroots rugby in England, starting on 29th March 2021.


Here are the key dates:

  • From 29th March 2021 – Contact training (Excluding Scrums & Mauls) can begin as well as Ready4Rugby, 02 Touch & Tag Rugby matches against other clubs.
  • From 26th April 2021 – Adult & Age Grade matches with adapted laws (No Scrums or Mauls)
  • Not before Step 3 of Government Roadmap (17th May 2021)– Full contact training (including Scrums & Mauls) permitted
  • 2 weeks after step E1 – Full contact matches permitted
  • Not before Step 4 of Government Roadmap (21st June 2021) – All restrictions lifted.

return to rugby roadmap

RFU Rugby Development Director Steve Grainger said: “This is fantastic news for the community game and we are pleased to be able to publish our plan for a phased return to full contact rugby.

“It’s wonderful to see light at the end of the tunnel and we are as delighted as clubs and players across the country that they will soon be able to resume training and, subject to each stage on government’s roadmap being achieved, progress towards an exciting season of rugby for 2021/22, starting in September.

When the Government Roadmap moves to Step One A on 8th March

• Current lockdown restrictions remain.
• Adult rugby remains at Stage A on the Return to Rugby Roadmap.
• This means individuals can exercise alone or with one other from another household until Monday 29 March.

When the Government Roadmap moves to Step One B – no earlier than Monday 29 March

• Adult and age grade community rugby (including schools and colleges) may resume at Stage D1.
• O2 Touch, Tag and Ready4Rugby training and matches are permitted within the club and against other clubs. We will confirm travel guidance when published by government.
• Contact training (excluding scrums and mauls) is permitted to introduce contact gradually and prepare players physically for the next stage on the Return to Rugby Roadmap. Our guidance strongly recommends a maximum of 20 minutes contact in total per session, with regular hand sanitising breaks during and after contact skills training and equipment should be cleaned after use. Players should avoid face-to-face exposure of more than three seconds and more than 15 minutes of exposure at less than one metre with another player.

From Monday 26 April

• Having had four weeks of contact training, adult and age grade community rugby will be able to return to Stage D2 on the Rugby Roadmap from Monday 26 April.
• Again, guidance will recommend 20 minutes of contact training to be permitted (still excluding scrums and mauls).
• Matches will be permitted with adapted laws (no scrums & mauls) against other clubs. Again, travel guidance to be confirmed as above.
• Guidance for playing friendly matches over the summer will follow over the next few weeks to support maximising player retention and welfare.
• Matches will not be obligatory. It will be clubs’ and players’ individual choice as to when they feel ready to return to contact rugby. Please ensure players are given enough time to condition themselves physically, with a gradual return to contact built in. Ready4Rugby, O2 Touch and Tag can still be played if preferred.

When the Government Roadmap moves to Step Three – no earlier than Monday 17 May

• Adult and age grade community rugby likely to progress to Stage E1.
• It’s anticipated that full contact training will be permitted (including scrums and mauls).

Two weeks after Stage E1 has been reached – no earlier than Monday 31 May

• It is anticipated that adult community rugby will progress to Stage E2.
• Adult full contact matches would then be permitted.
• The current age grade season ends on Monday 31 May. (See above for further information).
• Some off-field restrictions likely to still apply.

When the Government Roadmap moves to Step Four – no earlier than Monday 21 June

• It is anticipated that adult community rugby will progress to the final Stage F.
• At which time we expect all remaining restrictions will be lifted.

Next Season

• All adult and age grade competitions are currently anticipated to start in September, as normal, under full laws.

%d bloggers like this: