SEASON OVER: Spalding won’t play again this campaign due to coronavirus – but at least their last game was a historic victory in the RFU Midlands Senior Vase final. They are pictured with the trophy after beating Dunstablians. Photo by ADRIAN SMITH

No more rugby for Spalding RFC this season as RFU acts decisively against COVID-19

Spalding RFC’s Midlands Three East (North) season is over after the the Rugby Football Union (RFU) moved to end the 2019/20 rugby season in England.

The only exception to this blanket cancellation is the Gallagher Premiership, with the RFU switching their attention to ensuring that they are ready to re-start all rugby with the 2020/21 season once the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has passed.

The ruling comes just one week after Town won the RFU Midlands Senior Vase for the first time in their history.

Bill Sweeney, CEO of the RFU, said: “My thoughts and those of all of us at the RFU are with everyone impacted by COVID-19 as well as recent flooding events, both across the country at large but also within our own rugby union community.

“In order to provide clarity and to assist with immediate and longer term planning, the Rugby Football Union is announcing the end of the 2019/20 rugby season for all league, cup and county rugby in England.

“The only exception to this is the Gallagher Premiership, who we are in active discussions with to review possible best next steps.

“When current government advice on social distancing measures changes, we will naturally encourage rugby training and friendlies to recommence.

“I would like to personally thank everyone for their swift actions in suspending rugby activity, this is not an easy time and I know many of you will have concerns that go beyond the game.

“We are working through the implications of ending the season early and have instigated a thorough process to ensure fair and balanced outcomes for the game.

“We will communicate these outcomes by the middle of April. While we would like to provide all the answers now, we need some time to get it right for the best interests of the game. Rest assured we are working on this as a priority and we will continue to send weekly updates to clubs.

“We welcome the measures announced by Government which could provide crucial support to professional and community clubs and the RFU.

“We are in regular contact with Sport England and The Sport and Recreation Alliance to understand how business rate relief and hardship funds can be accessed by clubs and will be providing assistance to make sure every club who is eligible will be supported.

“The implications for all areas of rugby will be thoroughly worked through and solutions discussed and developed with the clubs.

“Our welfare advice before the start of next season will switch to offering guidance on how players at all levels can reboot and get match ready.

“The RFU will work closely with constituent bodies to support clubs, competition organisers and the wider rugby community in preparing to re-start rugby in what is likely to be a challenging environment.

“In recent days we have all been inspired by the many stories across the rugby family working together to support those who are the most vulnerable in their community – this encapsulates the unique spirt of rugby.

“I am confident that this spirit and resilience during these tough times will ensure we will come through this together and emerge stronger.”

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