Plans are being drawn up for rugby to be played without scrummaging, tackling and mauling next season to increase the likelihood of some form of a return.
n internal working group at the RFU is understood to be working on variations of what is being described as "rugby activity" - focusing on reducing the levels of contact to encourage players to return to clubs next season, even if full contact is not allowed.
A range of phased activities is being considered, from social-distanced training to competitive touch rugby and a shortened version of the game, played on half a pitch with limited contact.
Given the intensity of the contact involved in scrummaging, tackling and mauling, there is a growing acceptance this aspect of the sport may not be possible until next year.
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"By rugby activity, we are definitely not talking about 15-a-side, full-on contact rugby," said Steve Grainger, the RFU's director of rugby development.
"There are a whole range of activities that you could create without having 16 people in a scrum. That is probably the most invasive and intensive form of contact that we are going to have. Or a pile of people in a ruck. They seem like they will be the last things to come back." (© Daily Telegraph, London)