12:22PM, Friday 20 March 2020
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has announced the end of the season for all league, cup and county rugby across England because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This means that the league season for all of our clubs, including Maidenhead RFC, Windsor RFC, Marlow RFC and Slough RFC, has been brought to an end, while the implications of doing this - and what it means for clubs with regards to promotion and relegation - will be worked through over the coming weeks.
They hope to provide clubs with answers to these key questions by the middle of April.
Bill Sweeney, CEO of the RFU, said the organisation wanted to provide clarity and help assist clubs in their long term planning.
The only exception to this is the Gallagher Premiership and the RFU is in active discussions with that league to consider the best next steps.
"When the current government advice on social distancing measures changes, we will naturally encourage rugby training and friendlies to recommence," said Sweeney.
"I would like to personally thank everyone for their swift actions in suspending rugby activity, this is not an easy time and I know many of you will have concerns that go beyond the game.
"We are working through the implications of ending the season early and have instigated a thorough process to ensure fair and balanced outcomes for the game. We will communicate these outcomes by the middle of April.
"While we would like to provide all the answers now, we need some time to get it right for the best interests of the game. Rest assured we are working on this as a priority and we will continue to send weekly updates to clubs."
The focus for the RFU over the coming weeks is the welfare of clubs and rugby communities across the country, and it is talking with government to see how it can deploy its resources to support the most vulnerable.
Sweeney concluded: "In recent days we have all been inspired by the many stories across the rugby family working together to support those who are the most vulnerable in their community – this encapsulates the unique spirit of rugby. I am confident that this spirit and resilience during these tough times will ensure we will come through this together and emerge stronger."
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