The many postponements in recent weeks, following massive contamination in Brive, Toulon or Bordeaux, worry the leaders of the LNR. RMC has obtained the new measures of a reinforced health protocol. Which seems complicated to apply.
The last two days of the Top 14 turned to death. On two occasions, four matches had to be postponed (or eight in total) for reduced programs. And an upcoming calendar that will subject the clubs to hellish rates with, necessarily, rescheduled meetings in the middle of the week (Tuesday 11 and 25 May) and, therefore, three matches to be played in eight days.
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This situation annoyed the leaders of the League and pushed them to strengthen the health protocol in order to complete the season on June 25, at the Stade de France, with the final of the Top 14. Stricter measures – some so restrictive that voices are already beginning to be raised even for their adoption – and heavy penalties in the event of non-compliance.
Players must arrive and leave training in rugby uniform. Showers within the club and indoor activities will be prohibited.
RMC got hold of this 17-page document to update the sanitary protocol, which was presented to presidents and coaches last week. He points out, in the preamble, “a relaxation and less rigorous implementation of current health protocols”. It is reminded that wearing a mask is compulsory. All the members of the professional groups must imperatively arrive masked at the club masked and the players must keep it, “except for the physical exercises and the oppositions on the ground”.
The document, which must be adopted in the coming days, also recalls that “players must arrive and leave training in rugby uniform”. The League specifies that showers within the club, ice baths… and indoor activities are prohibited. Snacks, meetings and bodybuilding sessions will now have to be held outside, only video or treatment sessions remaining allowed indoors “if the place is sufficiently ventilated and social distancing respected”.
The celebration of the tests by contacts with its partners and accolades at the end of the match prohibited
So much for the daily life within the club. But meetings are also affected by these stricter measures. Travel must be done by two coaches. And meals can be taken in the room. Non-Immunocovid or unvaccinated players must be placed in a single room. During matches, it will now be prohibited to celebrate the trials through contact with its partners. Hugs and hugs are also prohibited at the end of meetings. Finally, it is forbidden to shake hands, especially “when you have just touched your mouthguard”, specifies this reinforced protocol. Which provides for very heavy penalties in the event of non-compliance: a fine ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 € “per violation observed” and, even, a lost match!
Three PCR tests per week
Finally, this document will introduce an increase in the frequency of PCR tests: three times a week, including a test three days before the match and another the day before. If one or two players are positive, they will be isolated but collective training can continue. If three or more players test positive, only “Immunocovid” can continue to train collectively.
A turn of the screw, in the measures and the sanctions, which makes cringe in the clubs. Or many leaders find them difficult to apply. What promises some tensions during the Steering Committee to come.