Premier 15s set to return from two-week Covid-19 suspension

Shaunagh Brown of Harlequins Women in action against Bristol Bears
The league continued in lockdown despite no testing for the players

The Premier 15s league returns this weekend following a two-week suspension to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

The Rugby Football Union is introducing a twice-weekly lateral flow testing programme for club players and staff.

Rearranged matches between Exeter Chiefs and Saracens, and Gloucester-Hartpury and DMP Durham Sharks, will take place on Saturday, 30 January.

A full programme of games - round 11 - will resume on 6 February, with further fixtures scheduled for up to round 14.

Dates for rounds 15-18, the semi-finals and final will depend on the timing of the delayed Women's Six Nations.

Six Nations organisers are aiming for a spring or summer start, though full details are not expected until the end of January.

In addition to twice-weekly lateral flow testing, adapted laws - such as 35-minute halves - and regulated training limiting face-to-face exposure, including minimising indoor contact, have been introduced.

Last season's Premier 15s was declared null and void because of the pandemic.

Confirmed fixture round dates:

Round 11 - Saturday, 6 February

Round 12 - Saturday, 13 February

Round 13 - Saturday, 27 February

Round 14 - Saturday, 6 March