English Premiership rugby clubs given green light to return to training


London (AFP)

Rugby chiefs in England on Tuesday gave provisional authorisation for Premiership and Championship clubs to return to non-contact training following the coronavirus shutdown.

The English top-flight was suspended on March 16 but the intention is still to finish the season.

The Professional Game Board said clubs would need to provide a written declaration that a number of key criteria had been met.

Stage-one protocols allow for individuals or small groups to train in the same facility, while adhering to social-distancing rules.

PCB chairman Chris Booy said: "I can confirm that the Professional Game Board which incorporates representatives of the Rugby Football Union Premiership Rugby, Rugby Players' Association and Championship clubs has given provisional authorisation for Premiership and Championship Rugby clubs to move to Stage 1: Elite Sport Return to Training Guidance.

"The clubs will need to satisfy a number of requirements to start Stage 1 as we continue the huge amount of work being undertaken to enable a safe return to training.

"The welfare of the players, management and staff is our only priority, and we look forward to the season resuming when it is safe to do so."