Rugby

English Premiership intend to complete season, looking at restart dates

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Mako Vunipola of Saracens

Image credit: Getty Images

ByReuters
08/04/2020 at 14:46 | Updated 08/04/2020 at 14:57

England's Premiership Rugby has further postponed the season due to the novel coronavirus pandemic but remains committed to completing the campaign when it is safe to do so, CEO Darren Childs said on Wednesday.

England's Rugby Football Union (RFU) last month confirmed the end of the 2019-20 season for all league, cup and county rugby due to COVID-19 but the English Premiership was excluded.

The country's top flight league was suspended for five weeks on March 16 and Childs said they were exploring the option of rescheduling the Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham Stadium until later in the year.

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"Following a series of constructive meetings with our clubs, investors, players' representatives, commercial and broadcast partners, and the RFU, we have agreed on our approach to restart rugby, as soon as it is safe to do so," Childs said in a statement.

"We also must recognise that when the pandemic is finally at an end, there will still be the economic challenge for many years to come.

"We are creatively working with government and medical professionals to come back promptly, as soon as we know that it is safe to do so.

"We all remain committed to finding a way to play, so long as we can do this safely, and with the welfare of players, staff and fans at the heart of every decision."

Childs said Premiership Rugby was working with the RFU, the Rugby Players' Association, clubs' directors of rugby and medical staff to come up with multiple restart dates.

The league will also donate a minimum of 2,500 tickets to Britain's National Health Service (NHS) in recognition of the healthcare workers on the front line battling the pandemic.

Exeter Chiefs are leading the Premiership standings with 45 points after 13 games, five points ahead of Sale Sharks, while Bristol Bears are third a further two points behind.

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