The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on life all over the world, with lockdowns being imposed in many countries and social distancing measures being put in place to ensure the safety of people. In such a situation, it has become almost impossible to have live events of any sort, which has meant that almost every major sport has had events and tournaments being suspended, postponed or even outright cancelled. One of the most popular sports in England, rugby, faced a similar scenario as well, and the rugby union leagues had to be postponed in mid-March as the country was put in lockdown. However, there are plans for the competition to return soon, with the Premiership set to resume its season from 15th August onwards. At the same time, GVC has opened its Ladbrokes and Coral betting shops in England as lockdown measures have begun to be eased. This has been done with proper rules and guidelines in place, with GVC following the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for reopening public places. Therefore, there will be meticulous sanitization of all shops before opening and after closing, along with physical barriers between customers and employees, as well as between the gaming machines and betting stations as well. These are just some of the measures which have been put in place to ensure customer and employee safety, but it will be understandable if some patrons are still uneasy about visiting shops at this point in time. However, there is a very convenient alternative available for them, with sports betting and real money online casinos available for customers to use on the internet, and therefore from the safety of their houses. It will be a huge boost to sports betting firms that there is live sports returning for fans to place bets on, with rugby following in the footsteps of Premier League football and resuming its season.
Premiership clubs have tentatively agreed to return from 15th August onwards, while Premiership Rugby has also allowed clubs to begin with stage one of their planned programs to resume training. This is essential, as players will need a minimum of six weeks to get back up to speed following more than three months without any sporting activity. While most clubs have had their players keep in shape through remote workouts and regular contact with the medical and fitness department, there is still a big difference between being fit and being match-fit. Clubs will also have to be careful and watch out for the expected increase in soft-tissue injuries, as players’ are suddenly put through training regimes which their bodies are not used to, having spent more than three months away from such programmes. Nevertheless, the aim is to have the season back up and running by 15th August, with clubs now putting these training programmes in place to get their athletes back in shape as soon as possible, while safeguarding their health through this process, with regular testing taking place to ensure that players who test positive are isolated as soon as possible to avoid the spread of the virus.
The current Premiership season could see the playoffs being held in the middle of November if the existing return timeline is adhered to, which would then push the 2020-21 season to December, three months later than usual. Nevertheless, there is a commitment to finish this season and have the standings decided through sporting means rather than use a mathematical model to arrive at the final table, and this is actually also helping the move towards synchronising the global rugby calendar, with all the major leagues having had to postpone their competitions.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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