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Return to Rugby

Return to Rugby
Phased return
[August 26] The Welsh Rugby Union has announced measures to further progress the phased return of community rugby in Wales – while still taking a safety-first approach to the resumption of the grassroots game.

In line with Welsh Government guidance, the governing body has now sanctioned the inclusion of touch rugby activities as part of fitness and skills-based training sessions at all levels of the game in Wales. This is in addition to the tag and touch rugby already sanctioned for under 7s to under 11s.However, in order to continue to be part of the solution of the covid crisis, and with player welfare front of mind, all other measures remain in force at this time.
 These include:
– Training should take place in small groups (max 10-15 )
– Social distancing still applies to all other parts of training sessions and gatherings (there should be no huddles, close team talks or traditional team photos)
– Balls and cones are the only equipment currently permitted
– This is not a contact phase of rugby, there should be no tackling, wrestling, rucking, mauling, line-outs or scrums
- In-house activities only. No matches are to take place against other clubs, hubs or schools
– All education and pre-training protocols in place must still be adhered to before attending any training sessions. This includes the World Rugby Covid awareness course and WRU online registration before the FIRST training session and the WRU Gamelocker symptom checker before EACH training session.For update, CLICK HERE

WRU Policy and Integrity Manager Jeremy Rogers, from the WRU Club Operations team, introduces a webinar focusing on First Aid for the return to rugby alongside Ian McCarroll, Training Development Officer with St. John, Wales and John Miles, WRU National Squad and Community Game Physiotherapist.

[July 31] Following the latest Welsh Government update, the national governing body has issued a clear reminder of the processes that must be followed before clubs and teams can start to organise club-organised rugby training.

The Welsh Rugby Union recently outlined a phased, safety-first Return to Rugby plan for the community game following Welsh Government guidance which stated that clubs can start to organise non-contact, small group training from August 1 provided they, along with players and coaches first fulfil a set of strict safety criteria [SEE THAT UPDATE HERE].

Since then, detailed advice has been issued to those involved in the community game in Wales and a series of webinars have been held with Club Operations Managers and other key volunteers covering key areas such as the practicalities of preparing players, volunteers and club facilities for training sessions; changes to first aid procedures; the registration process and a return to training fund for clubs.

In addition, the WRU Community coaching department will publish an activity guide and webinar for coaches to support the safe return to training at all levels of the game which includes safety guidance and ideas for session plans within the current restrictions.

For full story, CLICK HERE

[July 14] The Welsh Rugby Union has outlined a phased, safety-first Return to Rugby for the community game following the latest Welsh Government guidance.

While the timeline for the return of competitive matches is dependent on the Welsh Government’s next steps in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, during a webinar attended by more than 300 club representative, the WRU clarified how rugby clubs and groups in Wales can start to plan their return to non-contact training within small groups in Wales from August 1.

The return to club-organised training is dependent on the completion of a period of education and preparation steps and caveats.

1. All coaches, players – or parents of junior players – will be asked to complete World Rugby’s online Covid-19 Return to Play awareness course. They must then complete the WRU’s online registration process which will open on August 1. Once they are fully registered, players and coaches may take part in club-organised training sessions. These will be organised in small groups of between 10 and 15 players and should focus on fitness, skills and small-sided, non-contact games within training groups. Club Operations Managers will be provided with detailed Return to Rugby guidelines and invited to a sanctioned training webinar later this week. This will cover areas such as behaviours and hygiene before, during and after training, the use of equipment and the organisation of training pitches to keep training groups separate. There will be an online symptom checker to complete ahead of all training sessions via the WRU Game Locker.

2. Clubs need  to be prepared. There will be additional webinars on preparing facilities, on funding and updated First Aid procedures which will cover the use of relevant PPE where necessary. The WRU is in talks with suppliers of PPE and will update clubs on this area.

3. A phased approach is vital. The first phase of training will be held in groups of 10 – 15 and significant further easing of restrictions, especially when it comes to social distancing, will need to take place before contact training can begin. Further guidance on gradually increasing group sizing and will be provided at the appropriate time.

WRU Operations Director Julie Paterson said: “We are determined to be part of the solution to Covid-19 and for that to happen it is important we all work together. The safety of everyone involved in Welsh community rugby and their wider communities is of paramount importance and when rugby returns, we all want it to return for good.

“We will utilise the immediate period ahead of August 1 to help prepare clubs and groups to return to the first stage of club-organised rugby training.”

WRU Community Director Geraint John added, “Although these are unforeseen and enforced circumstances, it is also a fantastic opportunity for coaches and players to hone individual and team skills that will benefit the game in the long-term. We will provide ideas and resources for coaches but we are also asking them to be innovative and to encourage creativity.”


Community Game Guidance

[June 25] The Welsh Rugby Union has clarified how the latest Welsh Government [COVID] guidelines, in force from Monday 22 June affect Welsh community rugby.

While team and contact sports are not yet permitted to resume training, the Welsh Rugby Union has issued some practical advice to clubs to help get pitches ready to welcome players when appropriate in line with government guidance.

The guidelines around training practices is unchanged in terms of people from one or two households (see above graphic to illustrate this). The only change to the Union’s advice to clubs is that, providing clubs can guarantee safe working practices, they are now encouraged to start maintaining their pitches following three months of inactivity.

The WRU has issued a Pitch Preparation Guidance document (SEE BELOW). The document, drawn up with the Grounds Management Association, covers everything from the recommended length of grass for out of use periods, to aeration, irrigation, local repairs and control of thatch.

WRU Community Director Geraint John said, “While we are all missing rugby activity, we must be part of the solution to controlling Covid-19 in Wales and not become a cause for increasing the infection rate. We are working very closely with the Welsh Government on all areas of the game, from community to elite and commercial activities.

“Our advice at the moment is to stay active within the Welsh Government guidelines which means train individually, with members of your household, or, in line with government advice – stay local and with members of one other household.

“However, following Friday’s government update, we have now entered an important preparation stage and we advise clubs to take on board this pitch preparation advice which is the first step before we can resume any rugby activity on club pitches. We are grateful that so many of our clubs have appointed a Club Operations Manager and we will continue to liaise directly with them as we begin to Return to Rugby.”


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