Premier 15s clubs allowed to return to training - as long as safety criteria are met
Premier 15s, the top tier of women’s rugby in England, has been given the green light to return to training as long as required safety measures are met.
Last season was suspended in March and subsequently ruled null and void, meaning the next time players take to the field it will be a new season.
The clubs will have to go back to training in staggered stages. The first stage allows individual, or small groups of individuals, conditioning with strict social distancing rules in place.
Contact training is not yet permitted.
Each of the ten clubs in the league will have to provide the Rugby Football Union with a written declaration that they have met criteria.
The RFU has outlined the measures in a statement: "All players and support staff must undertake an Education Module which will inform a formal ‘opt in’ process for return to training.
“Confirmation of the appointment of both a Covid-19 Manager and Covid-19 Medical Lead. Clear guidance regarding cleaning and hygiene standards for training facilities. The provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriate for the setting.
”Confirmation of medical screening for players and support staff, which involves the completion of a symptom checklist and temperature check before entering the training facility."
England women’s players will have already taken part in stage one training by July 31 and will link up with their respective clubs on their return.
The RFU’s head of women’s performance, Nicky Ponsford, said: "We’re pleased to confirm Premier 15s teams are able to return to stage one training once they have satisfied the relevant requirements to start.
“We have been in regular and detailed dialogue with all clubs and taken on board individual circumstances."
No time scale has been set for when clubs can move into stage two of training and there is still no return to play date for the league.