Given that there will be no league rugby this season, the Rugby Football Union have put into place a cup competition for NCA clubs to give our teams a competitive environment when we are able to resume playing contact rugby.
This will have no impact on clubs’ league status. Taking part will be completely voluntary. However, clubs who opt to participate will be expected to honour their fixtures.
The competition will include both National One and National Two clubs and it will be in two phases.
- Phase 1: This will consist of regional based leagues of around six clubs who will play home and away.
- The groupings and fixtures will be announced once we know which clubs will be taking part with the main objective to minimise travelling.
- The competition start date will also be determined when we are given the go ahead by government to restart competitive rugby which hopefully could be in January.
- Phase 2 – Based on the positions in the leagues, clubs will be split into cup, plate and bowl and those matches will be played on a knockout basis to determine the three winners. We have had the offer of hosting the finals at Twickenham.
If the restart is conditional on there being modifications to the laws of the game, the competition will be played under these modifications. If these are relaxed once the competition starts, we will play under the relaxed conditions.
It will be necessary to make some changes to the game regulations and these will be announced later.
NCA Chairman John Inverdale commented: “We’ve been talking about this for a long time. I’m delighted we’re now able to blow the whistle and I hope as many clubs will enter as possible.”