No return to league action for local rugby clubs until January 2021 - at the earliest

PUBLISHED: 11:29 26 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:29 26 September 2020

Honiton rugby action

Honiton rugby action

Archant

There will be no league rugby for Exmouth, Withycombe, Sidmouth or Honiton rugby clubs until the start of 2021 - at the earliest.

That’s the grim news for local rugby players following a press release from the Rugby Football Union.

Fixtures outside of the Premiership, Championship and women’s top tier will not be able to take place until at least January 2021.

The Rugby Football Union said it had made the “difficult decision” as a result of rising Covid-19 case numbers and additional government restrictions.

“The decision has been made so we can provide clubs with some certainty over the next few months,” the RFU said.

Non-contact and touch rugby fixtures can still be arranged.

RFU President Jeff Blackett said: “We will continue to liaise with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Public Health England to accelerate a return to competitive play as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The RFU reiterated it is still at stage D of its plan for a return to normal play for the grass roots game.

It means adapted contact training can take place along with non-contact matches.

Stage E will allow for adapted contact fixtures but stage F - which offers the chance to return to full-contact match play - will now not be on the agenda until the New Year.


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