Scrums return to rugby league for 2022 season: 85 per cent of players now vaccinated in Betfred Super League, Championship and League One

Scrums will return to all the RFL's competitions this season, the governing body confirmed today (Thursday).

By Peter Smith
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 4:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th January 2022, 4:50 pm

The decision was made following meetings with clubs from Betfred Super League, the Championship and League One.

Scrums have been on hold since Super League returned from its coronavirus layoff in August, 2020, but will return from the weekend of January 29-31, when the Championship begins and League One clubs enter the Challenge Cup.

The RFL laws committee recommended the return of scrums for the 2022 season at their December meeting, provided 85 per cent of players across the Betfred Super League and Championship competitions had been double vaccinated.

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Scrums will return this uyear. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

The RFL board then deferred a final decision until this month to allow more time for vaccination rates to increase and to assess the impact of the Omicron variant.

The RFL say the 85 per cent threshold has now been reached across the top two divisions and other relevant factors include the increase in knowledge regarding the impact of the Omicron variant since December, reduced isolation periods for close contacts and views of clubs and other key stakeholders.

A statement from the governing body added: "The decision has been taken mindful of potential risks, but against the backdrop of the wider landscape relating to Covid and the deregulation of government rules relating to Covid."

The RFL board is also set to sign-off a planned change to the sport's Covid framework which would see clubs unable to fulfil a fixture forfeiting the match with a 48-0 scoreline.

That will end the win points percentage system used for the 2020 season in Super League and all divisions last year.

There will be an exemption for exceptional circumstances to be determined by the RFL board, including a club being unable to play a match due to being required to shut down by either the RFL’s multiple case group or Public Health England.

Super League clubs also discussed French rules which will ban unvaccinated players taking part in games at Catalans Dragons and Toulouse Olympique.

That matter will be kept under review.

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