12:00PM, Sunday 18 July 2021
Jack Pattinson says he is ‘relieved’ to see full-contact training finally return to rugby as the RFU confirmed the reintroduction of scrums and mauls from Monday, July 19 in the community game.
Clubs and coaches have been advised to follow the roadmap – which will enter stage E1 – and adhere to scrummaging guidance to provide an ‘incremental and safe return for all players’.
Full contact 15-a-side friendly matches will next be permitted from August 7 for clubs that wish to prepare for a new season of the normal grassroots game in September.
Windsor RFC head coach Pattinson believes that had rugby not been allowed to return to its ‘core format’, the restrictions would have discouraged a lot of players from partaking in the sport in the upcoming campaign.
“Provided everything stays in check, we’ve got a full, normal season of rugby lying ahead of us,” he said.
“It’s definitely what the game needed, and it feels like a long time coming.
“There was a lot of concern from clubs I’ve spoken to, not just Windsor, that if the game was not allowed to return to its core format, one – how can a proper season be played out? And two – the limitations would deter a lot of people from wanting to play the game.
“The fact we’ve finally got the approval and the go ahead is brilliant. It’s exciting and feels like a long time coming.
“We’re in full motion now ready and preparing for the league to start in September.”
Pattinson, and the coaching staff at Home Park, will have an abundance of fresh faces to utilise in the forthcoming campaign thanks to some of their passionate youth players who have been able to step up into the men’s first team.
“We’ve managed to recruit really well,” said Pattinson.
“We’ve had an exciting crop of young Colts come up into the men’s senior section. They bring a lot of energy, a lot of creativity, and ultimately offer different solutions to how we have played in the past.
“Jack Turner has also returned to the club who is a really exciting player and an excellent addition to the group.”
“This is all putting us in good stead for our first ‘competitive’ game on August 7,” added the head coach. “It’s going to be a nice day tour down to North Petherton.
“We started preparing for that last week, had our third training session on Tuesday night, and will have our fourth tonight (Thursday).
“The aspiration is to be in the top four this coming season, and I truly believe we have the quality do it.
“There's two main factors that will affect this and they are availability and injuries.
“We can't control the latter but if we have good numbers throughout the season – because we've got a lot of strength in depth now and competition for places – we will be right up there.”
For more information on the community game’s return to rugby, visit tinyurl.com/85tubmx.
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