Dear Neath RFC Supporters,
The first Saturday in September normally sees all the excitement associated with the start of a new rugby season – but not in 2020 for, as we all know, these are not normal times.
The Coronavirus crisis is still with us and this week things took a new turn with cases in Maesteg and Penygraig hitting the local rugby clubs.
And the Maesteg outbreak has had a knock-on effect upon us in Neath too as some of our players mix socially with the Maesteg rugby fraternity so the Blacks have called a halt – for now – to pre-season training.
Better safe than sorry as the saying goes and we will not take any unnecessary chances with players’ health.
Neath team management were ready to give the squad a short break anyway as Block 1 of the (sanitised) training programme has been successfully negotiated – albeit in a vastly different shape to that to which we are accustomed.
Restricted intra-club touch rugby is now allowed but there is a danger of doing too much too soon. So for now there will be a break from formal sessions although players will continue with the individual programmes given them.
Training aside, the Welsh Rugby Union has announced it is “highly unlikely” that community rugby will return by the end of October and says it is working with the Welsh Government in order to move to the next phase of community rugby’s return.
But it looks as if we will not see much action before November and, without innovation, it is becoming increasingly difficult to see how a full home and away League campaign can be fitted into what remains of the calendar.
However, there is some hope on the horizon… World Rugby’s medical officer Dr. Eeana Falvey (formerly of Munster) was quoted in Rugby World as saying that tests have proven that you are 19-times more likely to contract Coronavirus through having a coffee in a coffee-shop than from playing a full 80 minutes of full contact rugby union. So that’s one for the First Minister !
In the meantime, please keep an eye on this web-site for news of a couple more new players whose transfers are awaiting clearance in the “system”.
Also, our Clubhouse continues on its limited opening of Saturdays only – pop in and catch up, all are welcome and please note that non-cash sales are preferred !
As per last month, with no news of fixtures we cannot offer season tickets yet – and, on a shortened season with the possibility of further disruption always present, we may not be able to do so for 2020/21. As with so many other things, time will tell.
Matty Young has been assigned different duties but Colin Chapman will, as ever, see to it that any news we get will be transmitted here as quickly as possible. Our web-site remains busier than most so please keep in touch.
In the meantime, stay safe and let’s hope we are all fit when rugby resumes at The Gnoll and that we have better news for the October bulletin !