Premiership clubs get big 'Rugby Restart' update
NEWS: Premiership clubs have been given the green light to move to stage two of returning to training from Monday.
The Professional Game Board (PGB) confirmed the news following the successful completion of stage one, meaning professional rugby in England remains on track for the planned resumption of the Premiership on August 14.
Professional Game Board Chair Chris Booy confirmed the news via a PGB statement.
The statement also outlined that all players and staff will undergo regular testing for Covid-19 as part of the introduction of stage two.
“I can confirm that the Professional Game Board which incorporates representatives of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) Premiership Rugby, Rugby Players Association (RPA) and Championship Clubs has given provisional authorisation for Premiership Rugby clubs to move to Stage 2: Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance, from Monday 6 July,” Booy said.
“The Premiership clubs successfully completed Stage 1 of the process so now we can move to Stage 2 ahead of the targeted resumption of Premiership on the weekend of 14-16 August.
“I’m delighted to confirm that Rugby Restart is on track. The teams at Premiership Rugby, RFU and RPA and at our clubs have undertaken a huge amount of work to get us to Stage 2 and I commend them for their dedication and tireless commitment to resuming the League campaign when it is safe to do so.”
Stage 2 will allows for the resumption of close contact training where small groups will be able to interact much closer to one another.
As was necessary for stage one training, clubs will need to provide a written declaration to Premiership Rugby and the RFU that they have met a number of key criteria alongside a full risk assessment informing the operational policy for their training facility.
Those criteria are outlined as follows:
“All players and support staff undertaking an Education Module which will inform a formal “opt in” process for moving to Stage 2.
“All players and designated support staff undergoing regular COVID-19 testing, and maintaining the high standards of hygiene introduced at training facilities.
“All clubs in conjunction with Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union undertaking a rugby risk assessment to support the mitigation of risk in training.
“The continuation of a daily medical screening for players and support staff, which involves the completion of a symptom checklist and temperature check before entering the training facility.
“A contact tracing protocol which will be supported by GPS data and the videoing of training sessions.
“The provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriate for the setting.”
Premiership Rugby said they welcomed the decision.
Darren Childs, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby said: “This is a significant milestone in our journey to restarting Gallagher Premiership Rugby, as we stay on track to resume the League on Friday 14 August, if it remains safe to do so.
“This stage brings with it a comprehensive COVID-19 testing programme for players and staff and a contact tracing protocol. As part of our commitment to player welfare, all players will be asked whether they would like to opt-in to Stage 2 training, after completing an education module.
“Rugby has unique challenges due to levels of proximity and impact, which is why the exhaustive process that is being followed is so thorough and has involved high-level collaboration between Premiership Rugby, RFU and RPA.”