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Premiership clubs to begin contact training next week

Stage 2 allows for the resumption of close contact training where small groups and/or teams will be able to interact much closer to one another

Last Updated: 03/07/20 4:18pm

Ian Whitten and Tom Hendrickson of Exeter Chiefs battle for the ball during a training session back in January

Ian Whitten and Tom Hendrickson of Exeter Chiefs battle for the ball during a training session back in January

Ian Whitten and Tom Hendrickson of Exeter Chiefs battle for the ball during a training session back in January

Premiership rugby clubs can begin contact training from next week ahead of the competition’s targeted resumption in mid-August.

The Professional Game Board approved the move to Stage 2 of training after Premiership clubs “successfully” completed phase one.

Stage 2 allows for the resumption of close-contact training where small groups and/or teams will be able to interact much closer to one another.

Guidance stipulates that players and designated support staff must undergo regular COVID-19 testing, with a high standard of hygiene required at training facilities.

“The Premiership clubs successfully completed Stage 1 of the process so now we can move to Stage 2 ahead of the targeted resumption of Gallagher Premiership Rugby on the weekend of 14-16 August,” said Professional Game Board Chair Chris Booy.

“I’m delighted to confirm that Rugby Restart is on track. The teams at Premiership Rugby, RFU and RPA and at our clubs have undertaken a huge amount of work to get us to Stage 2 and I commend them for their dedication and tireless commitment to resuming the League campaign when it is safe to do so.”

Jack Nowell of Exeter Chiefs has his temperature taken before being allowed onto the pitch prior to a training session at Sandy Park Jack Nowell of Exeter Chiefs has his temperature taken before being allowed onto the pitch prior to a training session at Sandy Park

Jack Nowell of Exeter Chiefs has his temperature taken before being allowed onto the pitch prior to a training session at Sandy Park

As was necessary for Stage 1 training, clubs will need to provide a written declaration to Premiership Rugby and the RFU that they have met a number of key criteria alongside a full risk assessment informing the operational policy for their training facility. These include:

  • All players and support staff undertaking an Education Module which will inform a formal “opt in” process for moving to Stage 2
  • All players and designated support staff undergoing regular COVID-19 testing, and maintaining the high standards of hygiene introduced at training facilities
  • All clubs in conjunction with Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union undertaking a rugby risk assessment to support the mitigation of risk in training
  • The continuation of a daily medical screening for players and support staff, which involves the completion of a symptom checklist and temperature check before entering the training facility
  • A contact tracing protocol which will be supported by GPS data and the videoing of training sessions
  • The provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriate for the setting

The rugby season in England has been suspended since March, with Exeter Chiefs top of the Gallagher Premiership table after 13 rounds of matches.

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