After moving into Stage D on the Return to Rugby Roadmap on Tuesday, the RFU have announced there will be no competitive full contact rugby in October unless there is a dramatic improvement in the prevalence of Covid-19 in the community.

As previously stated back in August, the RFU have to reach Stage F (which will not be reached until at least four weeks after Stage E) before full contact competitive rugby can commence.

There is also still no set date on when we will reach Stage F.

The next announcement about when league rugby may commence for levels including the National Leagues will be on October 2nd and this, again, will be based on the situation of the virus as well as government guidelines.

As published on last week, moving to Stage D on the Roadmap has allowed players to practice core skills and added to this, they will be able to start preparing and conditioning themselves appropriately as the game starts to return to normality with regular training and matches.

Varied training conditions will allow the return of tackling, lineouts and rucks, ensuring players are prepared to perform these skills safely and effectively with some restrictions.

Mauls, scrums, opposed lineouts or upright tackles are still not allowed as the transmission exposure risk remains high. Contact training sessions have to be carried out in small groups of no more than six players and within each training session, a maximum of 15 minutes will be allowed for all contact training activities

Detail of the permitted training activity is available in the return to contact training guidance. 

Clubs are also now able to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby or other Touch formats and should ensure they are appropriately set up and prepared for safely welcoming other clubs and individuals to their venues.