Any action this season is a bonus, say buoyant Bears
- Credit: Archant
The season may have been cancelled, but if there was to be any action, March Bears Rugby Club would most certainly be ready for it.
Due to lockdown, the Elm Road club had to stop all senior and junior training sessions, something that has been difficult to adapt to for both players and officials.
After the second lockdown was imposed on November 5, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) decided to cancel the grassroots rugby season, which includes the Eastern Counties League that March play in.
However, English rugby’s governing body has considered the idea of ‘local clusters’ if contact rugby can return.
“Before the lockdown, most of our teams were training at least twice a week, so it’s a shame to put all that commitment into training and it not coming to fruition by playing any matches,” Megan Fey, secretary at March Bears, said.
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“We haven’t had the opportunity at the moment with lockdown and the Covid guidelines, so in terms of localised fixtures, we’d be happy to play them should it go ahead.
“We’re getting towards the second-half of the season now with nothing played, so anything that happens would be a bonus.”
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Under the ‘local clusters’ plan, clubs would be placed into groups of seven based on their location in a bid to ease travel time, where teams will neither be promoted or relegated.
Games hope to take place in the new year, which aim to be based on full contact rugby or any adaptations in line with both government and RFU guidelines.
“We would have liked to have played in the usual Eastern Counties League, but having said that, with the league we’re in, sometimes we don’t normally get to play the teams that are closer to home,” Fey said.
“Whether it’s five miles or 50 miles, we’d travel to wherever the game is.”
March have tried to keep players engaged with rugby through their hashtag #BearsGoVirtual, with many sending in their progress pictures over the lockdown.
The club has developed in numbers, too, and are planning to field a second senior team, and with outdoor grassroots sport returning from December 3, Fey believes this progress can help the Bears stand in good stead.
“Club members are sending in their pictures and participating in what England Rugby are offering, so we’re making the best out of the situation,” she said.
“All of our players have been continuing their training at home, so we’ll be prepared to play as and when we get the green light.”