08:30PM, Thursday 04 March 2021
Maidenhead RFC haven’t yet been informed by the RFU as to when they’ll be able to return to training and contact matches, but with the Government announcing that community team sports can resume from the end of this month, director of rugby Myke Parrott says it’s finally looking more positive that all sections of the club will soon be able to resume activities.
Due to the tightening and easing of restrictions over the past 12 months, Maids and other community rugby clubs have flitted between different stages of the RFU’s return to rugby roadmap.
From the end of this month Parrott hopes all areas of the club will be able to resume training at Stage D, which would enable players to take part in contact training for a period of four to six weeks before matches are able to take place.
“We’re still waiting to hear from the RFU about what stage of the roadmap we’re able to come back on,” he said. “Previously they’ve given us guidance on these stages and, depending on what type of lockdown we’ve been in, we’ve flitted between the levels.
“I’m hearing rumours we’re going to be coming back to training at stage D, and we’d be able to do contact in training, but I think we’ll have to spend a certain amount of time in that stage before we can move onto competitive rugby.
“WE still don’t know if we’re going to have to play adaptive rules. Will we be allowed to scrummage for example? We’re still waiting on all of this guidance. But yeah, at last, it does seem we’re going to be back in some form, which is hugely welcome.”
Last week the Prime Minister announced the Government’s intention to enable community team sports to resume by March 29 and the hope is that fans will also be able to return to stadiums from early May. Parrott said the club would follow the guidance they receive from the RFU on the matter but would return ‘to the fullest extent they can’ as soon as that is practically possible. Hopes of playing league matches this season were pretty much ruled out when the country was placed into a third national lockdown in early January, but Parrott says the club is confident of taking part in a mini league with Newbury Bracknell and a Rams Development side when restrictions allow.
“We would come back this afternoon if we could,” he said. “I think their guidance stipulates that we have to spend four weeks at stage D before moving onto Stage E, but we’ll just have to wait and see what they say to us. Whatever that guidance is though, we’re going to be back as soon as we can to the fullest extent we can, and I feel that’s really important to the young people at our club.
“The plan is that we’re hoping to be involved in a bit of a mini league with some other local sides, so that would be Newbury, Bracknell and a Rams Development squad. Hopefully, that could take place in April, but it might be later. As soon as we can we intend to play.
“There are also options for us to play sevens and 10s matches, so we’ll be utilising the pitch for those competitions and events and hoping lots of people will come down and watch because we’ve got a big revenue hole to try and fill. We’ll try to bring some funds back into the club and get everyone engaged again.
“There’s a danger that people will have drifted off to do other things these past 12 months, which is understandable, but we’ll be doing everything we can to get everyone back down to the club and enjoying their rugby. We want our kids back, our colts back, the ladies, the Unicorns, our third team, seconds, firsts. We want everyone back involved as soon as we can.”
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