The new season is set to start as normal for the whole community game with the RFU announcement that clubs can re-instate scrums and mauls in training from Monday 19 July and in matches from Saturday 7 August. The new season is set to start as normal for the whole community game.
Clubs and players will be able to return to full contact rugby. As always, player welfare is the main priority and the return to scrums and mauls will be managed as safely as possible in accordance with the step-by-step plan published by the RFU.
The Adult Game
When can clubs return to full contact rugby? (10s and 15-a-side)
We have carefully considered the preparation period required after a long lay-off. We have taken advice from medics, coaches, directors of rugby and players within the community game to create the below pathway:
The updated rugby roadmap for adult rugby is here.
Monday 19 July
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. See below guidance for returning to scrummaging safely.
Coaches must be satisfied that players have undertaken sufficient technical preparation, skill refinement and reconditioning work before returning to full contact match play.
Internal training games are allowed between Monday 19 July and Saturday 7 August. Training games should include an incremental approach to scrummaging and coaches should rotate players every 20 minutes. Clubs should not return to match intensity full contact 15 a-side training games immediately.
Saturday 7 August
Full contact 15-a-side and 10-a-side rugby matches, with scrums and mauls, may resume against other clubs from, and not before, Saturday 7 August.
It is the choice of clubs and players whether they wish to compete in full contact matches from Saturday 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.
Saturday 4 September
Full contact 15-a-side league rugby commences for Men’s Levels 3 and 4, and for 14-team men’s leagues in Levels 5 and below.
Saturday 18 September
Full contact 15-a-side league rugby commences for 12 and 10 league men’s teams in London & SE.
Saturday 25 September
Full contact 15-a-side league rugby commences for 12 and 10 league men’s teams in North, Midlands & SW.
Full contact 15-a-side- rugby commences for majority of women’s competitions.
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 Saturday 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 Monday 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.
More detailed communication will follow on adapted contact laws for Age Grade friendlies.
Monday 19 July
From Monday 19 July, scrum and maul progressions can be included in the defined training times shown in the framework.
XRugby can continue to be played through the rest of July in friendlies (without scrum or mauls).
Saturday 7 August – Saturday 4 September
Adapted contact laws may begin in Age Grade friendlies from Saturday 7 August.
XRugby and non-contact can also continue in friendly matches.
Saturday 4 September
Full contact 15-a-side matches permitted.
Timings for RFU national age grade competitions remain as previously communicated:
W/c 13 Sept – U18s Schools Cup
W/c 27 Sept – U15s Schools Cup
W/c 4 Oct – U18 Boys Age Grade Cup
W/c 11 Oct- U18s/U15s Girls Age Grade Cup