Newark Rugby Club eyes training return date just two weeks later than planned pre coronavirus
Rugby players are gearing up for the sport’s return just two weeks later than they usually would.
It follows Newark Rugby Club’s decision to introduce senior training sessions from Tuesday, July 7, two weeks later than pre-season start date prior to covid-19.
The return follows the government’s guidance regarding health, travel and social distancing and fits into the RFU’s Return to Community Rugby Roadmap, which is at stage B.
It means coaches are encouraged to introduce rugby skills gradually and to focus on physical preparation in the form of movement challenges during the first few weeks of group training.
A spokesperson from the RFU said: “Rugby is a game where close physical contact is a key feature.
“In Stage B, coaches should ensure they pay strict attention to how they plan and facilitate coaching sessions to ensure players are not in close contact.”
Newark will host training sessions at their Kelham Road facilities and head coach Adam Corcoran said it would be hard to keep sessions fresh and engaging, but welcomed the challenge.
“It is no secret that we don’t know when the start of the season is, so it could be seen as a little bit early to start and it will be structured slightly different to how we would start a normal pre-season,” he said.
“We could be in pre-season until the new year, so it has to be different each week and engaging.
“But this is a way of getting the lads back together, getting their legs moving again, getting some skill work going and, as well as that, it is a chance for players to reconnect in a safe environment.”
Corcoran, who guided Newark to a sixth-placed finish in his first season, said players would be kept apart during drills as part of social distancing guidelines.
“It will be about making the environment as clean as possible and on arrival the lads will be able to sanitise their hands so they can handle the ball during the session,” said.
“Obviously we will be distancing, so we are looking at putting on different stations where you will see a fitness block, a skills block, physio work and flexibility work.
“The goal posts are moving weekly though, so we can plan for the rules now but we are fluid in what we are planning to do.”
He said should an announcement be made on the return of competitive action, training would differ and look more like a ‘normal’ pre-season.
“We didn’t really finish the season off and we didn’t get the chance to put a cap on the end of the year, so it would be nice to see where we are heading into the new season,” he said.