Monday, 10 August 2020

Hawks set for return to training

HENLEY Rugby Club could welcome its players back for training next month ahead of a return to league rugby in October.

This is a month later than usual, as the Rugby Football Union and the National Clubs Association plot a phased return in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last season was brought to a halt in March, with the Henley Hawks third in National Division 2 South with five matches remaining.

They were three points behind league leaders Tonbridge Juddians and a point behind second placed Taunton Titans.

Chairman Chris Nixon said that in the last few days some age groups have been gathering in “bubbles” to train at Dry Leas, while following strict safety guidelines.

He said: “We have also had RFU and NCA annual general meetings, coupled with various meetings to plan out a phased return to league rugby. Hopefully this will be in October with players returning to training in August.

“Lockdown seems to be easing and more will be done over the coming weeks and months but we must remain vigilant and sensitive to the needs of those who require extra care and time to adjust to a return to the new normal.”

Nixon said that despite the shortened season the club’s finances are “sound” and the club hopes to secure some new sponsors in the coming weeks.

He added: “There are many variables and uncertainties on the horizon, but we all share that desire to restore our lives back to normal, whilst being conscious of others and their concerns.

“We at the rugby club are ready and keen, when you are, to welcome you back to a safe environment, great friendship and, above all, let’s play and watch rugby.”

Meanwhile the club’s new training facility is set to be complete in the next couple of weeks. A new state-of-the-art 4G playing surface is being laid in place of the tiger turf pitch.

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