Premiership rugby's return delayed by another two weeks, with August as new target

Premiership action may not get back underway until August - (Copyright PA)
9:16am, Fri 22 May 2020
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Premiership rugby’s hopes of returning in July have been scuppered as it has been decided clubs won’t return to training for another two weeks.

The Professional Game Board took the decision that more time is needed to be able to return to the game safely.

Chris Booy, the board chairman, said: "The group agreed that although a huge amount of work is being undertaken to enable a safe return to training for Premiership clubs, more time was needed to ensure that players, staff and officials can return to a safe training environment, and that is not expected to be in place for a minimum of two weeks.

“Safety and welfare remains of paramount importance to all of us in the rugby community, and we look forward to the season resuming when it is safe to do so.”

The PGB is made up of representatives from the Rugby Players’ Assocation, Premiership Rugby, the Rugby Football Union, and Championship clubs.

And while the Premiership had been aiming to return in July as a ’best case scenario’, with players needing eight weeks training to be match-fit, the delay means the league won’t return until August at the earliest.

This may mean the league runs into October with the 2020/21 season not starting until December.

The main issue with this is the Championship season is scheduled to start in September as usual, a league Saracens have been relegated to.

If the two leagues overlap this could see the club simultaneously competing in the Championship and Premiership as well as being in the quarter-finals of the European Championship Cup.

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