Premiership clubs could lose points while players may be banned for EIGHT matches for serious breaches of Covid regulations as English rugby tries to limit the spread of the virus
- Premiership clubs face points deductions for serious breaches of Covid rules
- Players also face being banned for eight matches if they break regulations
- The intention is to encourage good behaviour and compliance with standards
Premiership clubs could face points deductions for serious breaches of Covid regulations as English rugby tries to limit the spread of the virus.
As Sportsmail reported this week, face-to-face try celebrations, ice baths and eating indoors are all now banned as part of an 18-point list of tighter strictures around training and match-days.
The RFU have now revealed their disciplinary measures if these rules are broken.
Premiership clubs could face points deductions for serious breaches of Covid regulations
In the event of a ‘reckless’ or ‘intentional’ breach with ‘high consequence’ the matter will be sent to a disciplinary panel where a player or coach could receive an eight-match ban and their club could be deducted up to 10 league points — the equivalent of two bonus-point wins.
In addition to the measures introduced this week, substitutes have been told to warm up during games in their team’s defensive dead-ball area, to avoid the possibility of celebrating with on-field players after tries are scored.
And this week the RFU will start sending video clips to all clubs, highlighting where their match-day behaviour could improve to meet Covid regulations.
‘The intention is to encourage good behaviour and compliance with the standards, but if clubs or players are consistently found to be not following the minimum operating standards the RFU will consider taking action in line with the disciplinary framework,’ said an RFU statement.
Newcastle will have to make a late call on whether their match at home to Gloucester can be played on Saturday after a deluge of snow hit the North East.
On Friday the Falcons squad and staff cleared the Kingston Park pitch, trying to make it playable as snow fell. The club also covered the surface overnight as the temperature dropped to -5°C — but it is set to warm up sufficiently by kick-off at 2pm for the game to take place.
Referee Craig Maxwell-Keys will have until then to make sure the pitch is safe — there is more flexibility without fans.
Under Premiership regulations, a match can be moved within the same weekend if bad weather forces a postponement, so an out-right cancellation can be avoided if it is unplayable on Saturday.
Newcastle will have to make a late call on whether their match at home to Gloucester can be played on Saturday after a deluge of snow hit the North East
Newcastle are hoping to cement their strong start to the season having beaten Wasps, Bath and Sale already. Captain Mark Wilson, who missed the end of his loan at Sale last year due to a knee injury and was then left hanging when the Falcons had to wait eight months to join the Premiership as the Championship was mothballed, is keen to make up for lost time.
‘I’d say 2020 was probably the toughest year of my career,’ said the 31-year-old England flanker.
‘The two things we thought about before this season were enjoyment and gratefulness.’
Newcastle lost at Bristol last Friday and Wilson wants them to respond against Gloucester.
‘What I was pleased with was our attitude to go down there and have a go at Bristol,’ he said.
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