Fylde RFC free to play full-contact rugby with scrums and mauls
Fylde RFC’s pre-season friendlies against Preston Grasshoppers and Sale FC next month are set to be played under traditional full-contact rules.
It follows confirmation from the Rugby Football Union that scrums and mauls will be reintroduced to the sport following the government’s easing of all coronvirus restrictions next week.
The RFU announced that clubs in the ‘community’ game can play friendlies under full-contact rules from August 7 ahead of the 2021/22 league season, which begins on September 4.
This will include Fylde’s Woodlands friendlies against Hoppers and Sale, scheduled for August 14 and 28 respectively.
Any matches which have taken place since the Covid outbreak have been played under modified rules desigined to reduce close contact, which meant scrums and mauls were temporarily outlawed.
RFU Director of Rugby Development, Steve Grainger said: “We are thrilled that community clubs and players will soon be able to return to full-contact rugby.
“Rugby volunteers, coaches, players and officials have shown remarkable resilience and patience during a challenging 16 months. They can now prepare for what is set to be rugby as normal when the new season starts in September.
“As always, player welfare is our main priority and we need to manage the return to scrums and mauls as safely as possible. We have issued detailed guidance to clubs ... to support the safe return of players to full-contact rugby for both the adult and age grade game. This information will also be shared directly with players, coaches and match officials.
“Players should only return to match-intensity, full-contact rugby when they feel physically and technically ready to do so. There is no pressure to return to match play on August 7. The option is there for clubs and players that have been training throughout the summer and are ready to progress to the next stage of re-introducing scrums and mauls if they wish.”
Fylde’s attempts to play any matches last season were repeatedly thwarted by rising Covid cases around the county and beyond.
The only match members have been able to watch since March last year was an in-house game involving first and second XV players at the end of May.
Their National League North opener at Tynedale will be their first competitive fixture for 18 months.
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