AMATEUR rugby clubs in Wales - including Newcastle Emlyn, Crymych and Cardigan - have been given hope for a possible start of season 2020-2021 by WRU chief executive officer Martyn Phillips.

The WRU recently announced that Community Rugby in the Principality will not traditionally start in September and could be delayed until January next year.

But Phillips, who was due to stand down after the cancelled Six Nations but stayed on to oversee matters during the coronavirus crisis, says the season could start long before then.

“We have set ourselves a goal to emerge from this crisis with the WRU and all teams and clubs, whether they be amateur, semi-professional or professional, intact and able to have a sustainable future,” he said.

“I hope that we have seen the worst of the crisis and that any future spikes can be dealt with quickly and locally where possible.

“We have a plan, we can see the other side and we will calmly go about our business to ensure the game is better coming out of the crisis than it was going in,” he said.

On the return of the amateur game, the CEO said “I am very optimistic that the season can start in October.”

In opting for this scenario, Phillips said there were four clear conditions as follows:

  • Public health and government authorities allow a return
  • Public health services are not compromised
  • Clubs have time to educate and prepare facilities
  • Players have an appropriate re-conditioning period