A date for the first game of the season may be still unknown but St Ives Rugby Club are taking preparations to the next level.

St Ives Rugby Club have been putting in the hard yards despite social distancing and small training groups. Picture: PAUL COXSt Ives Rugby Club have been putting in the hard yards despite social distancing and small training groups. Picture: PAUL COX

The RFU changed the status of their return to rugby roadmap last week, now allowing “exercise with a larger group” and the potential for “limited face-to-face contact”, and while there are still three stages required before games can be played, players are finding the raining just as tough as ever.

One said: “It’s been weird training in such small groups but the individual attention possible has been fantastic. There’s no place to hide so everybody has been stepping up their efforts.”

And the sessions are also proving popular, with attendance up 40 per cent from last year and over 10 new players joining the Bulls.

Their successful running in line with the guidelines means they are confident mini and junior activities can begin as normal next month.

St Ives Rugby Club have been putting in the hard yards despite social distancing and small training groups. Picture: PAUL COXSt Ives Rugby Club have been putting in the hard yards despite social distancing and small training groups. Picture: PAUL COX

Director of rugby Phil Brown said: “The health and safety of all in the community is paramount and we’ll continue to do our bit to support that.

“We are well prepared both on and off the pitch for the excitement of competitive action as soon we are allowed.”