WELSH Rugby Union has outlined the steps for a return of the community game – but chief executive Martyn Phillips has emphasised that they will adopt a cautious approach.

Cardiff City and Swansea City are back in training and preparing for the return of Championship football this month while the four Welsh regions are hoping to play Guinness PRO14 derbies towards the end of August.

Gallagher Premiership clubs are getting ready to step up their preparations for a resumption of the league while the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition gets under way in New Zealand on June 13.

"The community game in Wales is intrinsically linked to the professional game and it may be natural to assume that when conditions are right for one to return they would also allow the resumption of the other – but we must take great care to treat these two elements of Welsh rugby separately," said Phillips.

South Wales Argus:

"We will also learn from precedents set in New Zealand and sports like football at a domestic level, but we are acutely aware that the timeline for the return of community rugby will run a different course.

"We all desperately want the current health crisis to be over and for rugby to return throughout the country, but I echo the sentiment of the Sport Wales chief executive Brian Davies earlier this week who said that 'it is better not to rush and get it right' and that we must be 'patient and unified' at this time."

The Union has set up a 'Return to Rugby Working Group' to look at protocols and procedures that need to be established from professional level down.

They shared key information with its members, reminding clubs that rugby is currently suspended.

  • From Monday 1 June, all players, coaches and referees, in line with the rest of Welsh society are now able to train outdoors with members of their household and one other household, within five miles of their home.
  • The two-metre social distancing rule is still in place regarding members of another household – no physical contact is permitted.
  • Personal hygiene is as important as ever. Wash hands regularly and do not share any training equipment – balls, cones etc – with members of another household. Do not share drinks bottles.
  • All indoor club facilities remain closed in line with government guidance
  • All club-owned rugby pitches also remain closed while organised rugby activity is suspended

"While all organised rugby activity is currently suspended in Wales, we recognise that players, coaches, referees and volunteers throughout community rugby will be keen to step up their plans to get ready for the return of rugby, as and when that is deemed safe and in line with Welsh Government guidelines," said WRU community director Geraint John.

"We will be contacting all clubs, rugby groups and female hubs in due course with in-depth guidance to help with the return to play process.

"This will include online meetings and advice on getting facilities and people ready for when the time comes to start sanctioned training and off-field activity. The safety of all involved is the priority when developing and delivering these guidelines.

"Until that time, we urge everyone within the game to stay fit and active within the phased approach taken by Welsh Government."