12:19PM, Tuesday 17 March 2020
The RFU has taken advice from the government over coronavirus and decided to suspend all rugby activity until April 14.
The suspension includes both professional and community rugby clubs and applies to all rugby related activity, including training, league and cup matches.
It is hoped the suspension will be lifted from the middle of next month, however, the RFU has said this will be continually reviewed and there now has to be some doubt over whether league competitions will be completed in their entirety.
Players are being asked where possible to maintain their own personal fitness levels but also to be mindful of social distancing and exercising in safe environments.
The statement released last night said: “The RFU will continue to review and monitor government advice and will provide detailed updates on the impact to the season in the coming weeks.”
Reacting to the suspension on Twitter, Maidenhead RFC tweeted: “Some things are more important than sport. Stay well and safe everyone.”
Maidenhead had been due to get back to league action against Bracknell this Saturday but that game, along with their matches against Brixham and Camborne, have been postponed and it’s possible that further matches could also be postponed or cancelled.
Windsor RFC released a statement responding to the suspension of all rugby-related activity, saying ‘we’re now in unprecedented times’.
“We are now required to avoid all unnecessary contact,” said the club’s statement. “This has therefore led to all rugby being suspended. Currently this is until April 14, however, we need to be realistic and realise this could last longer.
“The social impact on us will never have been experienced before and it’s going to be vast and wide. We will of course be using social media to keep connected with you over the coming weeks.
“Our community spirit is second to none and we will need this to keep us upbeat when the novelty wears off. Please all keep safe, follow the guidance, this can affect anyone and it is a long haul.”
The statement added that the club’s many Youth Tours have also been placed at risk.
A murder investigation has been launched by Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit following an incident in Bourne End.