Western Morning News

Rugby eyes date to resume season

- JACK COLWILL jack.colwill@reachplc.com

GALLAGHER Premiershi­p clubs have identified a best-case scenario for the resumption of the 2019/20 season, according to reports.

The Premiershi­p season was suspended officially due to the coronaviru­s pandemic on March 16, with a further suspension of fixtures confirmed by the governing body on April 8.

All leagues below the top flight have already had their seasons officially ended by the RFU.

However, the intention has always been to complete the Gallagher Premiershi­p season in full if possible and, according to reports, the Premiershi­p clubs have now set a best-case date for the competitio­n’s resumption.

The BBC is reporting that clubs are working towards restarting the competitio­n on the weekend of July 3-5, with all clubs completing their nine remaining league fixtures and building towards a final on August 15.

The plans incorporat­e a month of training before the start of competitiv­e fixtures and may see multiple midweek fixtures being played.

It is understood BT Sport, which holds the broadcasti­ng rights for the Premiershi­p, supports the plan and would be open to televising every game.

However, plans for the resumption depend on social distancing measures being relaxed enough to allow for the sport to go ahead.

There would also need to be an agreement regarding access to coronaviru­s tests and emergency services for all involved.

The final would ideally be held at Twickenham if it is available, although clubs are reportedly open to staging the showpiece game elsewhere.

Twickenham might not be available to host fixtures, both because the ground is currently being used as a drive-through coronaviru­s test centre and because London may remain in lockdown longer than the rest of the country.

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