Warren Spragg talks to the Gazette

By August 28, 20201st XV, Latest News, News

The Blackpool Gazette’s Andy Moore caught up with Warren Spragg in mid-week. Reproduced courtesy of the Gazette.

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Head coach Warren Spragg hopes for some positive news early next month on when the rugby union season will begin for Fylde RFC – and he stressed the importance of such “clarity” for players and their welfare.

The step forward to stage three on the Rugby Football Union’s ‘Roadmap’ for a return to action has enabled limited training to get under way, though stage six must be reached before competitive rugby is possible.

It means Fylde’s National Two North season will not start a week on Saturday as originally planned. However, a fixture list for 15 weekends up to Christmas has been announced, enabling matches to begin as soon as permission is granted.

Spragg is hopeful of more definite announcements soon but is pleased for now to have his squad back together at the Woodlands.

He told the Express: “We’ve moved forward to stage C, training in groups of up to 20 at the club. It looks more like rugby training but it’s still non-contact, touch rugby and keeping social-distancing.

“But it’s good to be back on the pitch. We’ve also done work on the dunes at St Annes and running on the beach. We’re doing everything we know we can do safely.”

But Spragg says the lack of certainty surrounding the game’s resumption is an issue for his players. He added: “We really don’t know at the moment when the season will start but we are expecting some news early in September. We’re hoping for some clarity and a realistic starting date.

“We appreciate that not knowing what is happening is difficult for the players. As semi-professionals they are missing out on a second income and are having to pick up other jobs. Some are working in supermarkets or in restaurants and that’s the reality of it.

“Getting back into regular training is good, but I’m mindful that we need to be more lenient with the players at training because of the bigger picture and the welfare issues. These players are social animals, who want to be at the club and playing the game. They have had a lot taken away from them. They are desperate to be back but we have to make sure they are not placed in compromising positions.”

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