Scrums reintroduced across all rugby league competitions ahead of the new season

The RFL have announced that scrums will return across all rugby league competitions this season.

By Amos Wynn
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 4:52 pm
Scrums will return this season
Scrums will return this season

Following meetings with clubs from the Betfred Super League, Championship and League One, the decision has been confirmed.

The recommendation was first made by the RFL Laws Committee in December, providing that 85% of players in the top two leagues had been double vaccinated.

The decision was initially deferred to assess the impact of the Omicron variant, but scrums have now been re-introduced, with the Covid vaccine threshold met.

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Other relevant factors included reduced isolation periods for close contacts, and the views of clubs and other key stakeholders.

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The return of scrums will start from the round one fixtures in the Betfred Championship and the second round of the Betfred Challenge Cup, which takes place between 29-31 January.

This will also apply across the Community Game.

The decision has been taken mindful of potential risks, but against the backdrop of the wider landscape relating to Covid and the deregulation of Government rules relating to Covid.

The recent meetings also provided a final opportunity for clubs to input into the changes to the Covid fixture framework to apply in the 2022 Season, which will now go to the RFL Board for a final sign-off.

It is envisaged that the Covid framework under which league positions were determined by win points percentage in the 2020 and 2021 seasons will be replaced, and that any team unable to fulfil a fixture will forfeit the match with a 48-0 scoreline, unless there’s an exceptional circumstance.

The meeting of Betfred Super League clubs also discussed recent developments related to travel between France and the UK, and their likely effects on the ability of unvaccinated players to participate in fixtures involving Catalans Dragons and Toulouse Olympique.

With three weeks remaining until the French clubs play their first matches against UK opposition in the 2022 season, the matter will be kept under review.

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