NCA Clubs Cup Competition 2020/21 Update
- Friday 5th March 2021
Announcement from the National Clubs Association
5th March 2021
NCA Statement on National League Cup competition and 2020/21 season
There will be no official competitive rugby for the semi-professional game this season, after the NCA agreed to cancel the proposed Cup competition that was scheduled to begin once lockdown restrictions were eased.
Following a series of meetings this week involving all 48 clubs in the NCA, there was unanimous agreement that there would be insufficient time to stage an authentic competition, given the continued uncertainty over if and when, training and playing will be allowed.
NCA chairman John Inverdale admitted there was a certain inevitability about the decision: ‘With every re-tiering and subsequent tightening of restrictions, it was getting harder to envisage the NCA cup getting off the ground.
“It’s with a heavy heart that we’ve made the call because there was a huge amount of enthusiasm for the idea, but ultimately we’ve had to concede defeat.”
Clubs will be free to play friendlies as and when restrictions are lifted, and several local hubs are already considering 3 or 4 team tournaments to take place in April and May.
RFU and Government outline a return for comunity rugby - Update from Chairman John Inverdale
National League clubs could be playing full contact, 15-a-side matches on May 31st, providing there are no upswings in the Covid-19 figures.
A detailed calendar was published today (March 5) outlining the route towards a return to ‘normal’ fixtures. The key stages are as follows:
March 29: Return to contact training without scrums and mauls. Contact should be built incrementally and RFU guidance states that training sessions should not exceed 20 minutes of contact at this stage.
April 26: Matches can be played under the adapted laws.
May 17: Here it is anticipated we can go back to full contact training, assuming that step 3 of the government roadmap is implemented
May 31: Full contact matches could be staged (dependent on step 3)
June 21: End of all restrictions
There are obviously still some caveats dependent on the control of the virus, but we can look forward with genuine optimism now towards the return of competitive rugby at levels 3 and 4.
Speaking on the latest episode of NCA Rugby Chats, Chairman John Inverdale said: “This is light at the end of the tunnel.
“In three weeks time or so, rugby clubs can be alive again which is the key thing. March 29th and April 26th are dates which are set in stone.
“On the 31st of May, full contact matches could be able to be staged for the first time. That is an opportune day for a lot of clubs to plan something for that Monday. You can imagine a glorious, early summer’s day, a packed rugby club, loads of people there, money over the bar and a sense of a new dawn breaking.
“If all things go according to plan, all restrictions will be lifted on June 21st. If nothing happens untoward in the intervening period, we then get to July in pre-season training, and then we are off and running into September.”