Following the UK Government’s announcement in mid-July on lifting Covid-19 restrictions, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has confirmed the reintroduction of scrums and mauls in rugby training in the community game.
Full contact 15-a-side friendly matches will be permitted from 7 August for clubs that wish, with the new season set to start as normal for the whole community game in September.
Clubs and coaches must follow the RFU’s Rugby Roadmap and return to scrummaging guidance, to provide an incremental and safe return for all players.
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RETURN TO SCRUMMAGING GUIDANCE
Ahead of players returning to scrums and mauls, coaches should assess the physical readiness and technical competence of their players. Additional time must be allowed for any player who requires further conditioning before returning to full scrummaging and full contact match play.
AGE GRADE RUGBY
The Age Grade Summer Activity Framework remains in place for the June to August off-season period.
After the disruptions of the pandemic, this enables players to continue to re-engage with rugby throughout the summer months if they wish, and to safely build their readiness to play full contact rugby from 4 September.
To support this, the Summer Activity Framework already includes provision for friendly matches to be played under adapted contact laws during August. These can start from 7 August, following a period of development in training sessions from 19 July.
This enables scrums and mauls to be reintroduced in a controlled way in friendlies and helps players who have not yet played them, particularly at U14-U16, the chance to experience these key elements of full contact rugby.
ADULT RUGBY ROADMAP
- Scrums and mauls can be re-instated in training only.
- A minimum 3-week preparation period of training sessions follows ahead of match play.
- Coaches are reminded that they are responsible for working with all players to assess their physical readiness and technical competence before returning to scrummaging. Players may be at different levels of fitness and conditioning.
- Coaches must be satisfied that players have undertaken sufficient preparation, skill refinement and reconditioning work before returning to full contact match play.
- Full contact 15-a-side and 10-a-side rugby matches, with scrums and mauls, may resume against other clubs from, and not before, 7 August
- It is the choice of clubs and players whether they wish to compete in full contact matches from 7 August. There is no pressure to do so.
- Teams that do not yet feel ready for full contact 15s have the option of playing 7s, 10s, XRugby or 15-a-side rugby with uncontested scrums.
- Start of the new season – competition dates for men’s and women’s competitions as previously communicated.
- For the avoidance of doubt, Sevens fixtures can return with full laws from Monday 19 July.