THE return of competitive club and youth rugby will be postponed until January 2021 at the earliest, the SRU announced last night. The widely-expected decision, which replaces the previous plan to start the club season at the end of this month, is in line with the restrictions introduced across the central belt this week by the Scottish Government.

The ‘elite exemption’ for the professional game remains in place, meaning both the men’s and women’s national teams as well as Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors can carry on with their planned fixtures. However, the semi-professional Super6 has been grouped with the club game: the ‘Sprint’ competition due to begin in three weeks will therefore not take place, and instead it is planned to have a full Super6 fixture card in the New Year.

Amateur club or youth players who live in the five central-belt health boards subject to the strictest regulations can continue to train, but now only individually. Players outside that area, however, can continue training as before.

“This delay gives us all time to take stock and contribute to helping lower the infection rates, which can hopefully enable us to return to rugby fully at the right time,” SRU President Ian Barr said.