Adult league rugby cancelled for 2020/21

Adult league rugby cancelled for 2020/21

By David Beddows | 30/10/2020

Adult league rugby cancelled for 2020/21

LEAGUE rugby below the Championship has been cancelled for 2020/21 due to the coronavirus pandemic

The Rugby Football Union's decision affects Rotherham Titans, Dinnington, Wath, Rotherham Phoenix and Rotherham Women.

The domestic game's governing body said that even if a return to full contact rugby becomes possible, a meaningful season was no longer feasible.

Rotherham had assembled a competitive squad for the new campaign aimed at winning promotion back to National One, the third tier of English rugby, at the first attempt.

Reacting to the news, Titans tweeted: "The club will be reviewing this announcement next week and will update everyone on the implications for the rest of the seasn, and for 2021/22."

The RFU’s decision affects level 3 and below for men and Level 2 for women.

NCA rugby stated that cancelling league rugby was necessary given the latest rise in Covid-19 cases, stricter lockdown measures and the increased risk of transmission from travelling to fixtures.

Chairman John Inverdale said: "‘The NCA executive had recommended this course of action and is relieved, albeit very reluctantly, that everyone operating at levels 3 and 4 now understands the situation.

“We are still very optimistic that some form of competitive rugby for NCA clubs this season will be proposed in the immediate future, to enable players, supporters and commercial partners, the opportunity to get back into the rugby environment.

“Talks are ongoing with the Government, and the NCA exec is doing everything possible to make sure that clubs at our level are able to plan for the next six months, from a rugby playing perspective, but also to enable clubs to reboot commercially.”

The rugby season was cut short in March when the country went into lockdown.

The latest decision means that local clubs are now set to go more than a year without playing league rugby.

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston added: “I know that today’s decision from the RFU will be disappointing to players and fans across the country, however protecting people’s health is absolutely paramount. 

"The government is continuing to work closely with the RFU on ways in which we can bring the competitive, community game back in some form ahead of a return to full contact as soon as the public health situation allows.”