Rugby Union: NCA pulls plug on competitive rugby for rest of season

There will be no official competitive rugby for the semi-professional game this season, after the National Clubs Association (NCA) cancelled a proposed cup competition scheduled to begin after lockdown.

Friday, 22nd January 2021, 11:58 am
Rugby Union News

Following a series of meetings this week involving all 48 clubs in the NCA, which represents the 48 clubs in National Leagues 1, 2, North and South, there was unanimous agreement that there would be insufficient time to stage an authentic competition, given the continued uncertainty over if and when, training and playing will be allowed.

NCA chairman John Inverdale admitted there was a certain inevitability about the decision: ‘With every re-tiering and subsequent tightening of restrictions, it was getting harder to envisage the NCA cup getting off the ground.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we’ve made the call because there was a huge amount of enthusiasm for the idea, but ultimately we’ve had to concede defeat.”

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Clubs will be free to play friendlies as and when restrictions are lifted, and several local hubs are already considering three or four-team tournaments to take place in April and May.

“It’s up to all our members to decide individually what they want to do,” said Inverdale.

“Some will shut up shop and prepare and hope for a September start next season. Others would like to play matches to satisfy the demands of their players, who are desperate to get back on the pitch, and their supporters who have been starved of going to their local club."