RFL delays decision on scrums return for 2022 amid coronavirus concerns

Rugby League chiefs have delayed a decision on the return of scrums for the 2022 season amid concern over the Omicron variant and the number of unvaccinated players.

Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 12:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 12:44 pm
Rugby League chiefs have delayed a decision on the return of scrums for the 2022 season amid concern over the Omicron variant and the number of unvaccinated players. Picture: SWPix

The RFL Board had supported its Laws Committee’s recommendation to reintroduce the set-piece for the new campaign if 85 per cent of players had been double-vaccinated by December 31, but with that threshold not yet having been met in either the Betfred Super League (80.66 per cent) or the Betfred Championship (81.71 per cent), a decision will now be postponed until the end of next month.

Karen Moorhouse, the RFL’s Chief Regulatory Officer, said: “We have not mandated vaccination, but we have worked with clubs to encourage their players to do their part, both for the sport and in the national battle against Covid-19.

“Considerable progress has been made over the last couple of months, with some clubs setting an outstanding lead in terms of vaccination rates, and now boosters.

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“We recognise this delay is far from ideal for coaches and players as they prepare for the 2022 season with ongoing uncertainty – but in a rapidly changing landscape this is the appropriate and responsible course of action as things stand.”

The RFL has urged clubs to encourage all their players to have booster jabs as those taking part in scrums who have not been vaccinated would currently be required to self-isolate for 10 days as close contacts of anyone who tested positive.