The return of grass-roots rugby union faces "particular challenges" which may include initially playing without scrums next season, the Government has signalled.
Nigel Huddleston, the sports minister, says he is hopeful that rugby can return, but close-contact sports are of increased risk during Covid-19. Huddleston suggested changes to the amateur and junior game might exist until Christmas.
"Where you've got full contact, there are some sports - judo, karate, other full contact sports - where there's particular challenges," he told reporters during a visit to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games site.
"We're working closely with all the governing bodies and saying 'well what do you propose' and then obviously we review what they're proposing. If it fits the criteria that's acceptable then they can go ahead. I think inevitably there are going to be some changes."
When asked whether scrums could be initially ruled out, he added: "potentially, but we'll have to see what they (the RFU) come back with. I won't personally be making those decisions - it will be based on medical and other advice."
All competitive grass-roots team sports was given the green light to start planning returns in a Government announcement on July 9. The most significant loosening of sporting rules since Covid-19 prompted the Rugby Football Union to begin setting out their timetables for allowing the return of amateur-level competition.
Club cricket was the first team sport to fully return following a campaign spearheaded by Telegraph Sport. Many amateur football teams are now back in training too.
"I have to say I've been really impressed by the level of responsibility and awareness of all sports," Huddleston added. "They're all coming up with proposals. If you look at the measures being proposed, very rarely do we have to go back and say 'no you need fundamentally change this'... But I think there's a recognition that we might have to see a few changes with the full contact issues or where there's that risk of respiratory challenges. We'll see."
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which agreed the new guidance with Public Health England, the Department for Health, and Sport England, invited individual sports to submit "an action plan and related guidance, demonstrating its mitigations, how it plans to operate, and any adaptations required, before they can be approved to restart".
Measures in the new general guidance are said to ensure clubs support track and trace efforts by collecting information on participants at both training and matches. All players, officials, volunteers and spectators must undergo a self-assessment for any Covid-19 symptoms, and participants and spectators must minimise the use of public transport and car-sharing with anyone outside their household.
The RFU plan for the resumption of rugby consists of six stages: from Stage A relating to individual training with one other person, moving through to Stage F when there can be a return to competitive matches against other teams.