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RFU's new Return to Community Rugby roadmap gives Diss Rugby Club light at the end of the tunnel



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Diss Rugby Club can finally begin planning their side's return to action after more than a year with no competitive rugby.

A detailed calendar has been produced by the RFU to outline the stages for a return to ‘normal’ fixtures for the community game across adult and age grade levels.

Diss have been without matches – aside from one adapted contact friendly with West Norfolk in December – since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

But with the easing of restrictions having now been mapped out, there is an end coming into sight.

The area's rugby clubs now have a pathway laid out to return to competitive matches
The area's rugby clubs now have a pathway laid out to return to competitive matches

A provisional date of March 29 should see, data on Covid-19 cases permitting, a return to adapted contact training – without scrums and mauls.

It is planned contact will then be built in incrementally and training sessions not exceeding 20 minutes of contact at this stage.

Clubs will also be allowed, should they choose to do so, to play Ready4Rugby (10-a-side version of touch) or other non contact rugby both within their clubs and with other clubs.

Adapted contact rugby, which allows for tackles, could return in matches from April 26 Picture: Mecha Morton
Adapted contact rugby, which allows for tackles, could return in matches from April 26 Picture: Mecha Morton

From April 26, data permitting again, matches will be allowed between clubs under adapted laws.

But it does not appear crowds will be allowed into grounds until, at the earliest, May 17, when full contact training is set to be permitted.

If that happens, then full contact matches could be allowed from May 31.

RFU rugby development director Steve Grainger said: “It’s wonderful to see light at the end of the tunnel and we are as delighted as clubs and players across the country that they will soon be able to resume training and, subject to each step on government’s roadmap being achieved, progress towards an exciting season of rugby for 2021/22 from September.

“Over the next couple of weeks, we will share detailed stage-by-stage guidance to make the return to rugby as simple and as safe as possible as we progress through the stages.”

Meanwhile, the Super Sevens Series has announced Bury St Edmunds will host the fourth and final round of this year’s competition, on Saturday, July 24. There was no 7s tournament at the club last year, despite several new dates being set.

Read more: All the latest Suffolk sport



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