RFU says grass roots fixtures must wait until 2021 due to coronavirus

Eddie Jones watches a non-contact game
England head coach Eddie Jones has helped the RFU encourage participation in non-contact rugby

Fixtures outside of the Premiership, Championship and women's top tier will not be able to take place until at least January 2021.

The Rugby Football Union said it had made the "difficult decision" as a result of rising Covid-19 case numbers and additional government restrictions.

"The decision has been made so we can provide clubs with some certainty over the next few months," the RFU said.

Non-contact and touch rugby fixtures can still be arranged.

RFU President Jeff Blackett said: We will continue to liaise with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Public Health England to accelerate a return to competitive play as soon as it is safe to do so."

The RFU reiterated it is still at stage D of its plan for a return to normal play for the grass roots game.external-link

It means adapted contact training can take place along with non-contact matches.

Stage E will allow for adapted contact fixtures but stage F - which offers the chance to return to full-contact match play - will now not be on the agenda until the new year.

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