St Neots discussed cancelling rugby at all ages prior to newest national lockdown

St Neots Rugby Club team photo

St Neots Rugby Club were discussing whether to cancel junior rugby when the newest national lockdown was announced. - Credit: ST NEOTS RFC

All rugby activity is to be suspended in the wake of the government's newest lockdown announcement - something St Neots Rugby Club were on the verge of doing anyway.

The placing of Huntingdonshire into tier four had brought implications for all walks of lives, including sports club.

All adult rugby was suspended but younger players were still allowed to play and train but only travel within their specific tier four area and that they could only be accompanied by one parent or carer.

Volunteers living in tier four, which includes coaches and match officials, were also limited to travel within their specific area and only to enable participation to take place for U18s only.

There were additional exemptions in place for people with a disability too.

Whether juniors should play and train though was what was under discussion at the New Street-based club when Monday's announcement suspended all rugby.

Vice-chairman Paul Warmington, who is also a junior coach, had said on the club website prior to Monday's announcement: "Unfortunately our move into tier four will mean the immediate ceasing of all adult rugby activities at the club. Sadly this will mean we will be unable to resume senior training and touch rugby sessions for the foreseeable future.

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"This will remain the case until we move back into tier three or lower.

"Under tier four restrictions, however, we are still permitted to hold mini and junior training.

"We are currently in discussion as a committee though regarding this as we are undecided about the subject, the issue being just because we can train doesn’t mean we necessarily should.

"Obviously this is not the way we wanted to enter 2021 but we hope people understand the club's position."

They had already cancelled all junior training last Sunday "to allow time for these discussions to take place".

The RFU hadn't made a full  statement on the new lockdown when the Hunts Post went to press.

It is a far cry from what rugby authorities had hoped would happen in 2021.

An announcement as November's restrictions came to an end said the government had approved a submission to return to 15-a-side contact rugby, albeit with adaptations.

There would have been no scrums or mauls in the game, with any restart usually needing a scrum being replaced by a free-kick.