The RFU have announced the following update:
The Rugby Football Union’s discussions with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Sport England to accelerate a return to community rugby continue.
We remain at Stage B on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. Further updates will be provided when the government gives the green light that it is safe for community rugby to restart.
While there is no official date for when community competitions will restart, we can announce league conferences and fixtures for the Adult Male (English Club Championship Level 3 to 12) for the 2020-21 season.
Most leagues have been split in two based on geography, the others elected not to be split. The season has been divided into three windows. In the first window clubs will play each team in their group, home and away. Provisional dates have been allocated to these games. If rugby has not started by these dates, each week will be automatically moved to the end of the first window.
Example (14 team league)
- Two groups comprising seven teams.
- Group games will take 14 rounds.
- If rugby cannot return to play until Round 6, the first game will be the fixture listed for Round 6 NOT Round 1.
- After Round 14 the scheduled fixtures for Rounds 1-5 would then be played in order, completing Window 1.
Please note: It is not yet confirmed when the season will start – the dates shown may change as outlined above.
If the first window is successfully completed, teams will then move to the second, which will see clubs compete against clubs from the other group in their league, once – either home OR away.
If there is still time before the end of the scheduled league season, the third window will be played – where the reversed fixtures of window 2 will take place.
- Dates for windows 2 & 3 will be allocated once competitions are able to start.
- No decision has yet been made about RFU Cup competitions.
- If only the first window is possible, a playoff between the leaders of the two groups will be staged to decide the league winner.
- The fixtures will not be placed on GMS, and thus filter through to club websites, until a start date is confirmed.
- No decision has been made on the effect of this season on promotion/relegation for the 2021-22 season