No rugby until a vaccine is found, say Scottish club

Close contact would make playing unsafe

Biggar celebrate their title 'win' before the season was declared null and void.
Biggar celebrate their title 'win' before the season was declared null and void.

A Scottish rugby club have warned that the sport cannot resume until a vaccine has been found for Covid-19.

Officials from Biggar RFC are resigned to the fact that the coronavirus crisis could prevent any more matches being played this year.

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Sport has been wiped out by the pandemic and team games like rugby and football appear unlikely to return any time soon.

“We at Biggar don’t believe we can go back to playing rugby until there is a vaccine for coronavirus,” Biggar secretary Mike Booth said.

The World Health Organization is co-ordinating a global effort to develop a vaccine but there is unlikely to be one before the end of the year.

Booth believes that football could return behind closed doors but does not see that as an option for rugby due to the amount of close physical contact.

“If there was a way for it to get played we would love it,” added the Biggar secretary.

“I don’t think there’s any point in rugby players wearing masks. They would be ripped off during a game.

“What would happen in a scrum? You would never be able to keep a mask on. The players can’t even manage to keep a scrum cap on! Common sense would dictate that there should be no rugby played until there is a vaccine. Perhaps with football it’s possible to play behind closed doors but I don’t see how it’s possible with rugby.

“I honestly don’t know what the answer is to get play back soon. I don’t think there is one.”

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Meanwhile, Biggar have enlisted the support of 20 clubs – an increase of just three in a week – in their bid to overturn the SRU decision to null and void the 2019-20 campaign. Biggar had sealed the 
Tennent’s National Division 1 title with two games to spare, thus winning promotion to the top-flight Premiership.

Biggar now face the prospect of being denied the title and promotion and want to trigger a Special General Meeting (SGM) of the SRU. They need 24 Yes votes from rival clubs who they are asking to support a revised proposal which would see them promoted to a new 11-team Premiership for next season, with no relegation across the divisions.

Backing Biggar in their bid are Dalkeith, winners of East Division 3.

“We’re getting near our target,” Booth said in an interview with the Carluke and Lanark Gazette.

“With a good week we will push on and could get where we want to be.”

Biggar – who haven’t played since a 44-15 win at Stirling Wolves on March 7 – are not expecting to play a full season of rugby in the 2020-21 campaign, whenever that may take place.

Booth added: “A lot of our guys are saying to us: ‘Why don’t you suggest to the SRU that we just finish the 2019-20 season next year because we’re not going to be playing a proper 
season?’

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“But we can’t do that now because the season has been null and voided by the SRU.”

At least one piece of good news which has emerged for Biggar in relation to their dealings with the sport’s governing body is that the Hartreemill outfit is due to receive around £5000 courtesy of the SRU’s Club Hardship Fund.

“The money will be a godsend for us,” Booth said.

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