Coronavirus: RFU beginning to make plans for players to resume training
RFU: "[We will] consider plans for a return to individual training with social distancing in selected performance training facilities across Premiership Rugby"
Last Updated: 13/05/20 6:32pm
The Rugby Football Union says it will "consider plans" for players in the Gallagher Premiership to begin individual training sessions with social distancing in place.
But the governing body also says there is still "significant work to do" before such a return can be sanctioned. The RFU statement was issued on Wednesday after a government document was released which featured guidance designed to allow each sport to make a risk assessment on when it is safe for training to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The RFU said: "The announcement today from DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), 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.
"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."
Premiership Rugby has also reacted to the government document, saying: "The publication of guidelines by DCMS allows us to further develop our plans - with the Government and other sports bodies - for a return to individual or small group training, that strictly adheres to UK Government and Public Health England guidance.
"This allows us to take the first steps towards the return of Gallagher Premiership Rugby."
Darren Childs, chief executive at Premiership Rugby, said: "With the support of all stakeholders, our job is now to find a safe way for one of our greatest national sports to thrive.
"Our priority is the health and safety of supporters, players, management, staff and the wider community, so our season will resume only when it is safe to do so.
"I'd like to thank the RFU, RPA and Professional Game Board, for their high levels of collaboration throughout the crisis."