Firstly the committee hopes everyone is still keeping well.
We have had confirmation through from the RFU today in light of the changes to the Government rules on Covid-19 that we are still permitted to continue as we are.
Although social gatherings of more than six people were banned in England from Monday 14 September and a number of local lockdown restrictions have been put in place in some areas of the country, the Government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue. With the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, we continue at Stage D on the Return to Community Rugby Roadmap. The rugby community can continue to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby and other touch rugby activity.
Limited and restricted contact rugby training can also be continued. Details of the permitted training activity are available in the return to contact training guidance.
RFU guidance as well as Government Coronavirus (Covid-19) Guidelines must be followed. Below there is a more detailed statement which was released by the RFU.
In light of the latest announcements from the government we still do not believe it is appropriate to re-opened the clubhouse but the toilets will be available for any matches and training sessions, but we would appreciate usage is keep to a minimum. If you need to use any facilities within the clubhouse can I remind you that one of the new conditions introduced this week, is that all must wear masks indoors in public buildings. At this time the changing rooms and showers are still not to be used therefore please ensure when you arrive for training you are already changed. Also can we please stress that anyone attending training or matches to spectate need to follow the Government guidelines on “the rule of 6”.
For those who have been to the club recently you will see we have erected the pitch side advertising fence along part of the first team pitch touchline by the clubhouse. This is will also act as a safety barrier ensuring non-playing personnel are kept away from the touchline. We are now looking for sponsors to add to the fence and if anyone, or anyone they know is interested in this, please let any committee member know and we will get Stan Matthews to contact the relevant person with the details.
Thank you to those who have paid their memberships and for those still to do so the details can be found on the website. We would also like to again encourage everyone who is a UK Tax payer, to also complete the gift aid forms which will allow the club to claim the tax back on the donation part of the fees.
As stated above we are able to arrange interclub games using the Ready4Rugby format and to this end, after a few trial games between the Senior, Colts and U16s, we are starting to look for inter club games. The colts have already arranged two games against Bridport on the 4th and 11th October at 1400, the first away and the second at home, assuming there are no further changes to the guidelines by either the RFU or the Government. Also the U16s are exploring fixtures against Swanage & Wareham.
Kieran Donnelly (Chair) and the LMRFC Committee
Return to competitive play in 2020/21 season has been delayed to January 2021 earliest.
Under powers delegated by Council, the RFU Governance Committee today made a difficult decision that, with the exception of Premiership, Championship and Premier 15s rugby, no organised* RFU or non-RFU Leagues including merit tables, adult or age grade competitions will be played before January 2021 at the earliest.
With the increased uncertainly caused by Government’s additional restrictions to curb the increase in Covid-19 cases across the country, the decision has been made so that we can provide clubs with some certainty over the next few months.
The rugby community can continue to organise non-contact fixtures with other clubs using Ready4Rugby and other touch rugby activity. Limited and restricted contact rugby training can also be continued.
The RFU continues to be in active dialogue with government about moving to Stage E on the Roadmap should we reach this point at any time before Christmas, competitive friendly matches could commence.
The Adult and Age Grade Competitions Groups will be making recommendations to Governance on what they can do to ensure that any competitions from January are meaningful, including whether to make changes to the structured season.
Governance also agreed that any decision to suspend promotion and relegation for the 2020/21 season would be referred to Council once the nature of the competitions is known.
Jeff Blackett, RFU President, comments: “We are very keen to see competitive rugby being played again. However, given the introduction of further restrictions to curb the increase in Covid-19 cases, we will not be able to move to Stage F on the Roadmap until a later date. This announcement gives clubs clarity over the immediate term to help them with their planning. 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.”
Although social gatherings of more than six people were banned in England from Monday 14 September and a number of local lockdown restrictions put in place in some areas of the country, the Government has confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue. With the exception of clubs impacted by local lockdown restrictions, we continue at Stage D on the Roadmap.
Clubs in areas where additional local lockdown measures have been introduced may need to limit their activities in line with any local restrictions. All are advised to consult with their local authority should they be in any doubt.
*Organised competition in this instance includes any competition organised by the RFU, its delegated competition organising committees, or any other league or cup organiser.