Yabbies to resume training as Central West Rugby keep hopes alive

The Yabbies, pictured at pre-season earlier this year, will return to training this week. Photo, file
The Yabbies, pictured at pre-season earlier this year, will return to training this week. Photo, file

A number of the state's major regional competitions have been cancelled for 2020 but Matt Tink stated it would be premature to abandon any Central West Rugby Union (CWRU) play at this stage.

The CWRU chief executive still wants to have "meaningful competitions" go ahead this year and he added the fact so many clubs have already started modified training sessions is proof of their commitment.

A Central West competition could be one of few to go ahead in the bush this year after it was confirmed there will be no play in the Newcastle, Illawarra, and Central North regions because of the ongoing uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic and it's impact on communities.

The premiership competition in the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union will not be played for the first time since World War II.

"We're still planning for a July 18 kick-off," Tink said.

"I think Central West Rugby Union would consider it premature to cancel competitions this year.

"Clubs are committed to playing and it's up to us to provide the platform for them to play meaningful competitions."

A number of Central West clubs have begun training already while Young Yabbies plan to kick things off this week.

Ned Mullany confirmed the Yabbies would return to training on Tuesday.

"The plan is to start once a week from Tuesday with the boys and girls. We'll set up a few stations around the oval and just do fitness. We still don't know where we stand in terms of the season. I wouldn't be surprised if we don't play, but we're returning to once a week training to keep people interested," Mullany said.

Training sessions must comply with current restrictions, meaning only groups of 10 are allowed together while there is no contact and sanitising stations are a must.

A recent report has been put together by World Rugby chief medical officer Martin Raftery and a number of other health officials.

The report was put together to analyse the risk of transmitting the virus on-field.

It recommends regular sanitisation of the match ball, changing jerseys at half-time, a ban on huddles and celebrations, and the banning of spitting and nose clearing.