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Neath RFC

Dear Neath RFC Supporters,

As the Coronavirus crisis eases but continues, it is opportune to keep everyone “in touch” so to speak.

The Welsh Rugby Union has kept Clubs involved throughout via weekly updates and a series of webinars and we have maintained regular contact.

The WRU transfer system re-opened today making for a hectic day as regular readers of the web-site will realise that last year’s squad has been reinforced by the arrival of several new players and the return of others. We welcome all aboard and hope to see everyone in action soon.

The good news for Neath RFC is that from Monday individual and small group training sessions are able to start albeit with a lot of restrictions. WRU guidelines currently forbid spectating and Gerald Morris has undertaken the role of Covid-19 Liaison officer to ensure we conform.

Pat has spoken to our squad who are all keen to get going but what we do not have yet is a start date for league fixtures with estimates ranging from October 1st (the optimists) and January 1st (the pessimists) – the WRU suggest that there will be a 6-week period for preparation and warm-up fixtures beforehand.

What we cannot and will not do is endanger the health of our players or supporters by returning too early.

For the Game’s sake though, I hope the former date applies as the challenge of soccer (backed by blanket TV coverage) is a very real one up and down Wales. Also, I fear the longer we delay, it will be all too easy to further postpone due to a local oubreak, bad weather or the extended international window.

Once we are given the green light, it is encouraging to see that New Zealand has managed more or less a full return and that the Scottish Minister has indicated that contact sports can re-commence from late August while the RFU have given their clubs provisional fixture-lists starting from September 12 !

Welsh rugby should take further encouragement too from the fact that our First Minister says that Under-11’s no longer need to socially distance so some junior rugby will soon be possible.

Ahead of the Game’s return, our Clubhouse will align with the licenced trades re-opening indoors from next week. The Clubhouse will therefore be open to supporters again on Saturdays and Sundays 1pm to 10pm from August 8 – all are welcome and please note that all sales be non-cash !

Supporters have inquired about season tickets but we cannot fairly offer any news until we have a formal fixture-list for the season. What we do know is that after the abandonment of the 2019/20 season, our Division should comprise the same teams.                                                  .

The web-site has not been as active as usual recently as Colin Chapman and Matty Young are carrying out a major overhaul. Despite this, a glance at a cross-section of Welsh rugby club web-sites suggets that Neath RFC has been busier than most during the lockdown.

Any significant news will appear on the web-site first so keep in touch.

In the meantime, stay safe and let’s hope we are all fit to resume at The Gnoll as soon as possible.

Rugby Secretary