WRU sets out seven steps to rugby's post-pandemic return

Welsh rugby
The Welsh Rugby Union governs the game in Wales

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has set out a seven-step return for the sport as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

Each stage is subject to Welsh Government guidance and public health conditions in Wales being "favourable".

The process begins on 1 April as tag and touch fixtures return for under-18s and will continue through more phases before the sport reverts to its pre-Covid-19 status in mid-January, 2022.

Club rugby training for u18s is already returning from Saturday, 27 March.

WRU chair Rob Butcher said: "We know there is a strong desire within the community game to get back on the field.

"Rugby clubs are at the heart of our communities and we all miss the social interaction they provide.

"As soon as Welsh Government guidelines allow, we will sanction the gradual and safe return of rugby activities, provided the clubs have all the necessary protocols in place."

In the WRU's statementexternal-link Butcher added: "We had around 300 WRU clubs when the pandemic hit us a year ago and our priority is to come out of this with all those clubs and other community teams in a position to welcome back their players, coaches, volunteers and members to their facilities."

WRU return-to-play time frame

  • 1 April: Tag and touch fixtures for under-18s
  • 1 May: Modified full-contact training (no scrums)
  • From mid June: Competitive sevens and 10-a-side contact rugby for all ages
  • From mid July: 15-a-side friendlies under modified laws
  • August-November: Return of some 15-a-side WRU-organised competitions at all levels
  • December-mid January: Winter break
  • Mid Jan-May 2022: Return of men's WRU League rugby & start of new Female Hub season.

The WRU says the return-to-play plan will initially "focus on a summer of fun formats of the game" to ease players back into the game after more than a year of inactivity below elite level.

The governing body says it will also issue guidance to clubs on how to manage training regimes safely as the sport resumes.

WRU pathway to participation

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