Having topped the table in Dorset & Wilts 1 South and being promoted to the Southern Counties league, Dorchester rugby club have been pre-season training now for four weeks and adhering to the RFU and Public Health guidelines.

With the welcome announcement from the RFU over the weekend of a further acceleration to return to community rugby and a move from stage B to stage C, this will involve touch rugby and the newly created format of “Ready4Rugby”, the county town club will continue training and can increase numbers safely and in line with RFU guidance.

The club has three teams in senior men’s leagues, a Ladies team and a very successful youth section. All are heading back towards the playing the game they love as soon as regulations allow, and are now involved in pre-season training.

Dorchester’s Head Coach Martin Oxland has been pleased with the turnout and work rate of the players thus far, with up to 7 pods of 6 players, and is happy that the club are going beyond what is required to train in a safe manner in the current times. He further adds that the club has a great deal of space for additional players to join in with the training and see what the club has to offer new players.

Every precaution is being taken with training to be COVID safe and guidelines stringently followed to enable all to come along and train safely, anyone interested but unsure is encouraged to speak to any players or the coaches who have been training so far.

Sessions for the senior men’s sides are being led by some of the senior players in the squad under Oxland’s guidance, Matt Reed and Josh Ovey being two, and feedback from all involved has been positive. Now moving into the next phase with a ball in hand in a game that rewards go forward in defence and attack; develops players core skills of catch, pass and support and it will also sharpen up the decision making process for all players.

With three more stages on the RFU’s “Return to Rugby Roadmap” there is no definitive date yet set for a return to community rugby fixtures, however the club is confident it can manage the slow return to the game and welcomes this latest step. Dorchester’s incoming Chairman Tony Foot commented that it was good to see activity returning to the club but was cautious that care still needed to be taken to make sure of a further move up the RFU’s plan.

The club currently trains on a Thursday with arrival for 18.45 to make sure all participants comply with guidelines and register their details for tracking, with training commencing at 19.00 promptly. New players are welcome and can contact the club via its Facebook page & Website.

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