The Allianz Premier 15s is set to return this weekend following a pause.
The 2020/21 season was suspended for two rounds (11 and 12) due to increased prevalence of COVID-19 in the community.
Rearranged games between Exeter Chiefs and Saracens [round seven] and Gloucester-Hartpury and DMP Durham Sharks [round eight] will be played on Saturday 30 January, both kicking off at 2.30pm before a full programme will resume on Saturday 6 February (round 11).
The match between Susie Appleby’s Chiefs and Alex Austerberry’s Saracens at Sandy Park will be streamed live across England Rugby and Premier 15s channels this weekend.
Confirmed fixture round dates are as follows:
Round 11: Saturday 6 February
Round 12: Saturday 13 February
Round 13: Saturday 27 February
Round 14: Saturday 6 March
Dates for rounds 15-18, the semi-finals and final are still to be confirmed in line with the wider women’s rugby international calendar.
The updated fixture list can be viewed here.
The RFU can also confirm a twice-weekly lateral flow testing programme for club players and staff has been introduced to complement the adapted laws and regulated training which limits face-to-face exposure.
These adapted laws have been supported by more intensive protocols introduced across the league to further reduce and prevent any increased risk of transmission within clubs caused by the current high community prevalence and the new variant (VUI – 202012/01). These protocols include measures to minimise any contact indoors, increase the use of face coverings and reinforce the behaviours that have been shown to mitigate risk.
The RFU will continue to monitor and review minimum operating standards in line with the elite sport framework and the community prevalence of COVID-19.
RFU Head of Women’s Performance, Nicky Ponsford said: “We’re pleased to be returning this weekend following a break.
“We know behaviour and following the protocols remains key to mitigating the risk of transmission, but we’re pleased to be able to introduce lateral flow testing as an additional measure.
“The intensive protocols have a specific focus on ensuring social distancing, maximising the use of masks and face coverings and minimising time spent indoors.
“The league has been extremely competitive to date and we look forward to this weekend’s matches.”