The RFL Board have delayed a final decision on the return of scrums for the 2022 season to allow more time for vaccination rates to increase.
The decision will now be taken by the end of January – ahead of the start of the league competitions.
Back in October, the laws committee recommended that scrums could return had vaccination rates across the Super League and Championship reached 85-per-cent. Earlier this month, the RFL agreed with the recommendation.
However, as things stand, that 85 per-cent threshold has not been met. The Super League’s vaccination rate is 80.66 per-cent, while the Championship stands at 81.71 per-cent.
In addition, the emergence and spread of the Omicron variant has also changed the landscape significantly. The RFL Board will review the position throughout January.
RFL assessing new variant
Karen Moorhouse, the RFL’s Chief Regulatory Officer, said: “The RFL Board share the view of the Laws Committee and the wider sport, that the return of scrums is desirable. Especially with a view to the World Cups in England at the end of 2022.
“Currently everyone in a scrum would be deemed a close contact. Therefore if there was a positive case within 48 hours of a match, any unvaccinated players who had been in a scrum with the positive individual would be required to isolate for 10 days.
“We recognise this delay is far from ideal for coaches and players as they prepare for the 2022 season with ongoing uncertainty. But in a rapidly changing landscape this is the appropriate and responsible course of action as things stand.”
Super League monitoring Omicron situation in France
Meanwhile, the Super League have said they are continuing to monitor the ongoing situation in France with regards to travel.
The French government have announced fresh travel restrictions. These restrictions mean nobody can travel into France, or out of the country, without a compelling reason.
Read More: Super League monitoring situation in France
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