RFU warns of 'significant work' before return

Getty Images

World Rugby announces change to try-scoring rule

This week has seen an easing of lockdown measures in the United Kindgom, and particularly in England, with fresh hope that sport will soon return even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pose huge challenges. 

Government guidelines now permit professional sports teams to start training again, albeit with social distancing measures in place.

However, the RFU conceded much still had to be done in order to facilitate a resumption of training.

"The announcement ... that elite sports can restart is welcome and enables us to consider plans for a return to individual training with social distancing in selected performance training facilities across Premiership Rugby,"  the RFU said in a statement on Wednesday.

"While much has been done in recent weeks to establish protocols around a safe return to training and ultimately competition, there is still significant work to do and discussions to be had with players and staff before any form of training can resume. Their welfare will be at the heart of our decisions. 

"This announcement relates only to the restarting of individual training with social distancing in Premiership Rugby. 

"The RFU will continue to work with government and other sporting bodies to provide guidance on return to training in the community game, Greene King IPA Championship, Rugby Sevens and Tyrrells Premier 15s ahead of next season. We will continue to keep everyone informed when RFU guidance is issued."

Safeguards including the deep cleaning of facilities and the screening of players and staff for COVID-19 symptoms will need to be implemented, the RFU added.