The Premiership season is unlikely to resume in July after it was decided the clubs will not return to training for a “minimum of two weeks.”
Although cases of Covid-19 are currently declining in England, the relevant governing bodies agreed that it was too early to begin preparations for a resumption of the 2019/20 campaign.
Professional Game Board Chair Chris Booy said: “A meeting of the Professional Game Board was held which incorporates representatives of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) Premiership Rugby, Rugby Players Association (RPA) and Championship clubs.
“The group agreed that although a huge amount of work is being undertaken to enable a safe return to training for Premiership clubs, more time was needed to ensure that players, staff and officials can return to a safe training environment, and that is not expected to be in place for a minimum of two weeks.
Prem Rugby's return becoming more & more messy. Some clubs say 4 weeks needed to prep; others 8. Social distancing will only work in phase one of training at best. Mass testing required but costly. Plus players still on furlough and rules unclear. Early July games now v unlikely
— Chris Jones BBC (@chjones9) May 21, 2020
“Safety and welfare remains of paramount importance to all of us in the rugby community, and we look forward to the season resuming when it is safe to do so. Further updates on progress will be made in due course.”
Premiership Rugby had hoped to restart the season in July as a best-case scenario but that will now be delayed, meaning that it could run into October.
Should that occur then the 2020/21 campaign may not begin in December, providing they don’t cancel the current season and simply start afresh in September.