No Premiership rugby training for at least another fortnight

London (AFP) –


English Premiership rugby clubs are set to be sidelined from training for at least two more weeks, officials announced Thursday.

The 2019/20 season was suspended in April because of the coronavirus but league chiefs are determined to finish the campaign.

Although the UK government has relaxed lockdown rules to allow some individual training, English rugby union chiefs believe they need more time to make their facilities compliant with current health guidance.

"The group agreed that although a huge amount of work is being undertaken to enable a safe return to training for Premiership clubs, more time was needed to ensure that players, staff and officials can return to a safe training environment," said Chris Booy, chairman of the Professional Game Board, which includes representatives from Premiership Rugby and England's Rugby Football Union.

"That is not expected to be in place for a minimum of two weeks."

The last Premiership game was played on March 8 and initially there was a plan for the league to resume on April 24 before the UK went into lockdown.

There has since been a proposal to restart the season in July, with leading players set to be available after World Rugby postponed that month's international fixtures.

But Leicester coach Geordan Murphy has warned players will need two months to properly prepare for a return, saying any resumption had to be "slow and graded".