Championship Rugby To Return In January?

The RFU issued a statement last week suggesting that ‘elite’ rugby (which includes the Aviva Premiership and Greene King IPA Championship) can go ahead under latest government restriction, but with hard up clubs in England’s second tier reluctant to play without allowing supporters in to venues, that is not likely to happen until the new year at least.

Nottingham Rugby have not played since March when their 2019/20 season was abandoned by covid and neither has any club below the top division in the country. Exeter Chiefs beat Wasps in the playoff final of the prolonged Premiership campaign in late October to close the top flight of English Rugby and the top division in the country will restart for its 2020/21 season on 20th November, the only other rugby competition being played right now is the women’s Premier 15’s which is four games into its new season.

In a statement the RFU Championship wrote “The Greene King IPA Championship is considered a professional league and is a part of the Elite game in England together with the Premiership and the women’s Allianz Premier 15s league. As such, it is allowed to function during the government’s “lockdown” period of November.”

“However, with clubs having little or no earning power for the past eight months, their individual financial status does not allow them to meet the costs of currently required Covid testing or face the prospect of no income going forward due to an absence of match day crowds.”

The league continues “it remains the desire and intention of the Greene King IPA Championship to commence its 2020/21 league season in January 2021, subsequent to a required period of pre-season training and game preparation time.”

“Much discussion and preparation is being undertaken within the league, in conjunction with the RFU, to play a meaningful league programme but the detail of those discussions must, of necessity, remain confidential and any public debate is, for the present, mere speculation.”

Meanwhile sad news for Nottingham is that earlier this week former player and Chairman Jim Buxton died aged 89 years old. Mapperley Park born Jim played 141 times for the Green & Whites mostly used as a centre or on the wing scoring 14 tries. Jim was club chairman for eight seasons between 1969 and 1977 and was president between 1985 and 1988.

*Main image @NottinghamRubgy Lady Bay hoping to welcome the sport back in the new year.

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