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Covid-19 Return to Play

Due to the current situation created by COVID around the world, team sports and rugby, in particular, has been exposed to a number of restrictions worldwide and the practice of the sport and the return to competitions has been compromised.

In partnership with World Rugby, you will be able to find important information relating to the return to play protocols and any guidance that will keep your members safe. 

World Rugby Action Plan

The following guidelines are intended to assist unions, clubs and competitions in creating a framework and policy for return to rugby activity within their respective jurisdictions. 

Unions and competition owners will need to comply with local laws and policies implemented by the government or local authorities in relation to COVID-19, including social distancing and travel measures. 

For the avoidance of doubt, this does not mean that matches will have to be played behind closed doors until a vaccine is available – the strategy will be determined by the respective national government directives. 

The guidelines have two core sections containing important information.

  • The first section provides safety information to everyone involved in the game including players, coaches, support and administrative staff

  • The second section provides a framework around which national unions can prepare best-practice policies and guidelines for return to activity that is appropriate to their local setting, complying with national guidelines on social distancing and travel restrictions.

The guidelines, which are World Health Organisation (WHO) compliant, outline three dedicated time-bound return-to-training phases – small group training, full group non-contact training and full contact training.

It also documents the environment for returning to match action in a domestic, cross-border and cross-continent context and processes for facility and stadium preparation. 

Rugby Europe Vice President and Head of Age Grade, Development and Competitions Committee, Rob Udwin said: "In these challenging times, it is obviously hugely important to the future health of our clubs and unions in the Rugby Europe family to be doing all that we can to get our young people, regardless of their level, playing rugby, and to keep them playing. I hope the resources we have gathered here will help you to do just that. Good luck!"

Guidelines have been published for the safe return to rugby activities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic via its player welfare website: Player Welfare 

RFU Webinars 

As part of the support for the Return to Play support, Rugby Europe partnered up with RFU (England Rugby) to deliver a series of webinars on the three key subjects on Returning to Play. This will consist in four separate digital webinars.

After a number of months with limited or no rugby, it is time for the Players, Coaches and Match Officials to get back to the Game we all enjoy.

Webinar 1 - Return to Rugby

During the initial 45 minutes presentation, we discuss some of the common issues that the RFU has been confronted with following the pandemic. We will then share some insights on the roadmap that the RFU have set out to get the players safely back to clubs:

  • How to adapt the Game and the structures?
  • How to recruit and retain players? 



Webinar 2 - Return to Rugby 

The second session of the digital webinars we will present the guidelines provided by the RFU to their Coaches:

  • How to coach adults and age-grade players in a post-pandemic world?
  • What on-pitch protocols for coaches and players? 



Webinar 3 - Return to Rugby 

Over a 45 minutes key note, we will present the guidelines provided by the RFU to the Match Officials:

  • How to manage the return to contact after the extended break?
  • How to apply Covid protocols to Match Officials? 


Rugby and Covid-19


Covid-19 Advice

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