National League clubs could be playing full contact, 15-a-side matches on May 31st, providing there are no upswings in the Covid-19 figures.
A detailed calendar was published today (March 5) outlining the route towards a return to ‘normal’ fixtures. The key stages are as follows:
- March 29: Return to contact training without scrums and mauls
- April 26: Matches can be played under the adapted laws
- May 17: Here it is anticipated we can go back to full contact training, assuming that step 3 of the government roadmap is implemented
- May 31: Full contact matches could be staged (dependent on step 3)
- June 21: End of all restrictions
There are obviously still some caveats dependent on the control of the virus, but we can look forward with genuine optimism now towards the return of competitive rugby at levels 3 and 4.
Speaking on the latest episode of NCA Rugby Chats, Chairman John Inverdale said: “This is light at the end of the tunnel.
“In three weeks time or so, rugby clubs can be alive again which is the key thing. March 29th and April 26th are dates which are set in stone.
“On the 31st of May, full contact matches could be able to be staged for the first time. That is an opportune day for a lot of clubs to plan something for that Monday. You can imagine a glorious, early summer’s day, a packed rugby club, loads of people there, money over the bar and a sense of a new dawn breaking.
“If all things go according to plan, all restrictions will be lifted on June 21st. If nothing happens untoward in the intervening period, we then get to July in pre-season training, and then we are off and running into September.”
Further updates will continue on ncarugby.com. Thank you for your continued patience and support.