Rugby Could Be Set To Return Without Scrums & More Key Parts To Maintain Social Distancing
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Rugby could be set to return but not as we know it in the coming months as plans get the game back up and running continue to develop amidst the ongoing world pandemic.
Plans are being drawn up for rugby union in England to be played without scrummaging, tackling and mauling next season to give it a better hope of returning if coronavirus lockdown measures are eased.
The Telegraph are reporting that an internal working group at the RFU is currently working on a number of variations of ‘rugby activity’ to help players back on rugby pitch.
The group’s main focus is to try and reduce the levels of contact in the sport to encourage players to return to their clubs next season even if full contact is not possible because of social distancing measures.
Given the amount of contact involved in scrummaging, tackling and mauling, there is an acceptance that these will be the last aspects of the sport to return to the sport and may not be possible until next year.
“By rugby activity we are definitely not talking about 15-a-side, full-on contact rugby,” said Steve Grainger, the RFU’s director of rugby development
“There are a whole range of activities that you could create without having 16 people in a scrum.
“That is probably the most invasive and intensive form of contact that we are going to have. Or a pile of people in a ruck.
“Those are the things I think that are quite hard to see your way past with the sort of virus that we have had. They seem like they will be the last things to come back.
“We are looking at staging posts all the way along that – from a situation where a group of people can start to handle a ball together through to a situation where a group of people can start to challenge another group of people with a ball in their hands.
“I think we will get to a situation with a non-contact or limited contact variant of the game such as X-rugby. The return of contact activity will then engineer when the competitive programme can start.”